Eight Charged in Roanoke Federal Court with Varies Federal Crimes Related to an Alleged Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy

August 26, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 25, 2014 released the following:

“LYNCHBURG, VA—Eight individuals from the Lynchburg area have been charged with a variety of federal crimes related to an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy that is accused of dispersing more than 500 grams of cocaine in the Lynchburg region between September 1998 and August 2012.

In an indictment returned July 24, 2014 by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke, the following have been charged:

  • Edward Dennis Jones, 38, of Lynchburg, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine, three counts of distributing cocaine and one count of illegal possession of a firearm.
  • Bryce Lewis Carter, 29, of Lynchburg, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and one count of distributing cocaine.
  • Carlos Demetrice Jackson, 28, of Amherst, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine.
  • Jeroid Montezs Matthews, 36, of Madison Heights, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and two counts of distributing cocaine.
  • Tony Sylvester Monroe, 40, of Evington, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine.
  • Tyrone Edwin Lewis, 28, of Madison Heights, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine.
  • Lateef Yusef Jones, 36, of Roanoke, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and attempt to distribute cocaine.
  • Randall Aaron Falwell, 28, of Lynchburg, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Central Virginia Drug Task Force, the Virginia State Police, the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office, the Lynchburg Police Department, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, the Appomattox County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Probation and Parole. Assistant United States Attorney Craig “Jake” Jacobsen will prosecute the case for the United States.

A Grand Jury Indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Several Individuals Charged in Texas in Alleged Murder-for-Hire Plot and Drug Conspiracy

March 26, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on March 26, 2012 released the following:

“LAREDO, TX—Several men have been arrested and charged in a conspiracy related to drug trafficking and/or an attempted murder-for-hire plot, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Kevin Corley, 29, and Samuel Walker, 28, both of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Shavar Davis, 29, of Denver, were taken into custody Saturday afternoon in Laredo, while Marcus Mickle, 20, and Calvin Epps, 26, both of Hopkins, South Carolina, were arrested in South Carolina. A sixth man, Mario Corley, 40, of Saginaw, Texas, was also taken into custody in relation to this case in Charleston, South Carolina.

The criminal complaint charging Corley, Walker, and Davis was filed just a short time ago in Laredo federal court, at which time they made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Song Quiroga. Mickle and Epps, charged in a now-unsealed indictment, are expected to make their initial appearances in Columbia, South Carolina this afternoon.

The investigation began in January 2011, when Mickle began negotiations with whom he thought were members of the Los Zetas Cartel, but were actually undercover Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, to purchase marijuana in return for stolen weapons. The criminal complaint indicates that as they began discussions about the distribution of marijuana in the Columbia, South Carolina area, Mickle and Epps allegedly told undercover agents about a friend in the military who could provide military weapons to them. The agents were later introduced to Corley, who allegedly identified himself as an active duty officer in the U.S. Army responsible for training soldiers. He offered to provide tactical training for cartel members and to purchase weapons for the cartel under his name.

The complaint states that over the next several months, Corley continued to communicate with undercover agents regarding the services he could provide the cartel as a result of the training, experience, and access to information/equipment afforded him as an active duty soldier. According to the criminal complaint, Corley allegedly mailed an Army tactics battle book to the agents, thoroughly explained military tactics, and told undercover agents he could train 40 cartel members in two weeks.

On January 7, 2012, Corley traveled to Laredo and met with undercover agents, at which time the agents inquired about his ability to perform “wet work,” allegedly understood to mean murder-for-hire; specifically, whether he could provide a team to raid a ranch where 20 kilograms of stolen cocaine were being kept by rival cartel members. Corley confirmed he would conduct the contract killing with a small team, at a minimum comprised of himself and another person whom he described as an active duty soldier with whom he had already consulted. According to the complaint, Corley ultimately agreed to $50,000 and five kilograms of cocaine to perform the contract killing and retrieve the 20 kilograms of cocaine, and he offered to refund the money if the victim survived.

Corley further offered to provide security for Mickle and Epps’ purchase of 500 pounds of marijuana for transport from Texas to South Carolina. He traveled with them to Laredo, where they loaded the marijuana into a tractor trailer and attempted to escort it back to South Carolina. However, the tractor trailer carrying the load was stopped and seized in La Salle County, Texas, on January 14, 2012. According to the complaint, Corley continued to contact undercover agents to discuss the possibility of future transactions with the agents. Corley allegedly arranged for 300 pounds of marijuana to be delivered to Mario Corley in Charleston and allegedly assisted in brokering 500 pounds of marijuana and five kilograms of cocaine for Mickle and Epps and discussed the distribution of these narcotics in South Carolina, Texas, and Colorado.

On March 5, 2012, Corley delivered two AR-15 assault rifles with scopes, an airsoft assault rifle, five allegedly stolen ballistic vests, and other miscellaneous equipment to an undercover agent in Colorado Springs in exchange for $10,000. At the meeting, Corley and the undercover agent allegedly again discussed the contract killing and the retrieval of the cocaine, which was to occur on March 24, 2012. Corley allegedly stated he had purchased a new Ka-Bar knife to carve a “Z” into the victim’s chest and was planning on buying a hatchet to dismember the body.

On March 24, 2012, Corley, Walker, and Davis traveled to Laredo and met with undercover agents, at which time they discussed the location of the intended victim, the logistics of performing the contract kill, and their respective roles. The three were arrested, during which time a fourth suspect was shot and killed. A subsequent search of the vehicle in which Corley and the other co-conspirators arrived revealed two semi-automatic rifles with scopes, one bolt-action rifle with a scope and bipod, one hatchet, one Ka-Bar knife, one bag of .223 caliber ammunition, and one box of .300 caliber ammunition.

The criminal complaint charges conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and carries a possible punishment of a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison and/or a $10 million fine. Use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking or violent crime could result in up to 10 years in prison, which is served consecutively to any other prison term imposed. Those charged in the indictment for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, including Corley, Mickle, and Epps, also face five to 40 years in prison if convicted.

Corley, Walker, and Davis are set for a detention hearing on March 29, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Song Quiroga in the Southern District of Texas. They were all remanded to federal custody pending further criminal proceedings.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the DEA and the FBI with the assistance of U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Roberto Ramirez and Jody Young.

Criminal complaints and indictments are formal accusations of criminal conduct, not evidence. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


12 Charged in Alleged Panamanian Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

December 23, 2011

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on December 22, 2011 released the following:

“WILMINGTON, Del. – Twelve individuals from the Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland – and the country of Panama – have been charged in a 20-count indictment alleging international drug trafficking. The charges result from an extensive investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The nearly three-year investigation involved federal and local law enforcement agencies in the United States and Panama.

U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly, III, District of Delaware, announced that each defendant faces two counts of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and one kilogram or more of heroin. The indictment also charges them with conspiracy to smuggle five kilograms of cocaine and one kilogram or more of heroin into the United States.

“This investigation is a terrific example of how federal, state and local law enforcement, with support from our partners abroad, were able to successfully dismantle a major narcotics smuggling organization,” said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. “HSI will continue to utilize its broad authorities to target those individuals that pose direct threats to our communities.”

For each of the offenses, the defendants face a maximum term of life in prison, with a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison.

Charged in the indictment are:

  • Efrain Dixon, 31, of Colon, Panama;
  • Ronaldo Edmund, 36, of Wilmington;
  • Kelvin Cook, 33, of Newark, Del.;
  • Julio Archer, 39, of Philadelphia;
  • Benjamin Carpenter, of Colon, Panama;
  • Roumik K. Banerjee, 24, of Kennett Square, Pa.;
  • Mia Poteat, 21, of New Castle, Del.;
  • Tina Simmons, 23, of Wilmington;
  • Sharon Butera, 51, of Elkton, Md.;
  • Dynisha J. Revel, 22, of Newark, Del.;
  • Raabia H. Munjir, 27, of Lansdowne, Pa.; and
  • Tessa Kay Snyder, 46, of North East, Md.

According to the indictment and court statements, U.S.-based defendants Edmund, Cook and Archer recruited primarily female couriers to travel to Panama to smuggle multiple kilograms of heroin and cocaine from Panama to the United States. Once in Panama, the couriers met with Panama-based defendants Carpenter and Dixon, where they were outfitted with cocaine and heroin. Most of the couriers smuggled the drugs in small compartments sewn into Lycra shorts in an effort to avoid law enforcement detection. After a number of couriers using that method were arrested, the organization began concealing the drugs within hair weaves and wigs. Regardless of the smuggling methods, once the couriers received the drugs they traveled by bus or airplane to Mexico, where they ultimately crossed or attempted to cross the U.S. border in Texas border towns.

“This case shows how international drug traffickers have a direct and significant impact upon our local communities, such as Wilmington, Delaware and Cecil County, Maryland,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Vito Guarino. “Due to the cooperative efforts of the DEA and its law enforcement partners, a major regional smuggling organization has been identified, and its members brought to justice. In this instance, the defendants used well-planned techniques to smuggle large amounts of cocaine and heroin into the region over an extended period. However, their efforts failed due the combined efforts of the participating law enforcement agencies. DEA will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to arrest those individuals responsible for distributing illegal controlled substances in the region.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Members of Alleged Asian Organized Crime Organization Appear in Federal Court Today

July 12, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts on July 12, 2011 released the following:

“Detention Hearing Scheduled for Five Defendants Today at Noon

BOSTON, Mass. – Five federal defendants are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Boston today, following a multi-year federal investigation into their roles in illegal activity in Chinatown and elsewhere. A total of 26 individuals from Massachusetts, Florida and Rhode Island have been indicted in connection with the alleged organized crime conspiracy.

According to court filings, the FBI’s Organized Crime Task Force led a long-term investigation into drug-trafficking, illegal gambling, extortion, prostitution, and other criminal activity in the Chinatown area of Boston and elsewhere. The investigation included court-authorized wire surveillance of cellular telephones for seven months, including the cell phones of five of the defendants. The investigation to date has resulted in the seizure of more than $340,000, thirteen firearms and approximately 12,000 pills of suspected oxycodone. Investigators also uncovered extensive evidence of illegal gambling and prostitution, and the use of extortionate threats to collect loans to gamblers and others.

“Organized crime can paralyze or seriously disrupt small communities, particularly close-knit neighborhoods like Chinatown,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “This criminal organization is alleged to have trafficked large amounts of drugs, threatened and beat up individuals who failed to pay off large illegal debts, and moved women around the country to work in their brothels.”

“We encourage the victims of these alleged crimes to contact us to assist in protecting the community and prosecuting those responsible,” added U.S. Attorney Ortiz. “We are very fortunate in Massachusetts to have dedicated prosecutors, agents and local law enforcement who challenge themselves and creatively leverage resources to work these multi-faceted complex investigations.”

Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, said, “The indictments and arrests stemming from this operation send a clear message to those involved in organized crime organizations everywhere: The FBI and its law enforcement partners will pursue those who engage in drug dealing, illegal gambling, extortion and exploitation of women regardless of the geographic boundaries.”

SAC DesLauriers added, “In this case, law enforcement’s jurisdictional reach and investigative tenacity culminated in the arrest of multiple individuals. The methodical nature and duration of this investigation reflects our collective dedicated effort to secure justice for the victims. Organized crime groups are emerging from every corner of the globe. Through our task-force and intelligence based model, we will use every tool at our disposal to disrupt and dismantle organized criminal enterprises.”

In late May, 13 men and women were charged in the first of three indictments with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, marijuana and human growth hormone in the Massachusetts, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere. According to an affidavit filed in connection with detention proceedings, John Willis, 40, of Dorchester, also known as “Bac Guai John” (“White Devil John”), the leader of this drug-trafficking conspiracy, has a long history of involvement in Asian organized crime.

The following were also charged in the drug-trafficking conspiracy with Willis: Brant Welty, 39, Kevin Baranowski, 41, and Bridget Welty, 38, all of Boston; Vincent Alberico, 29, of Centerville, Mass.; Peter Melendez, 50, of Sunrise, Florida; Aibun Eng, 38,and Steven Le, 21, both of Quincy; Brian Bowes, 42, and Michael Clemente, 29, both of Sunrise, Florida; Michael Shaw, 39, of Wilton Manors, Florida; Mark Thompson, 28, of Davie, Florida; and Anevay Duffy, 25, of Cumberland, Rhode Island. Alberico is also charged with assaulting a federal official who was performing his official duties.

With the exception of Melendez, the defendants in this matter have been arrested. Willis, Le, and Alberico have been detained pending trial. Brant Welty remains in custody pending the court’s decision on the government’s motion for detention and Baranowski remains in custody pending a detention hearing on July 14. Alberico is in state custody.

If convicted on these charges, Willis and Baranowski face up to 30 years in federal prison. Each of the remaining defendants faces up to 20 years in federal prison to be followed by up to a life term of supervised release, and $1 million fine. In addition, Alberico also faces up to eight years in federal prison to be followed by up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for the assault charge.

On June 30, 13 additional defendants were charged in two separate indictments. One of the indictments charged Minh Cam Luong, 46, Vapeng Joe, 44, Hin Pau, 45, Judy Huyen Truong, 41, and Hui Zhou, 24, all of Quincy; Jian Ming Chen, 38, of Brighton; Elburke Lamson, 47, of Chelsea; Tan Ngo, 54, of Waltham; Songzeng Cao, 28, of Malden; and Yao Zheng Cao, 23, of Somerville, for operating an illegal gambling business since January 2010. That business has been based, since November 2010, at a illegal gambling den at 17-23 Beach Street in Chinatown. Luong, Pau, Songzeng Cao, Yao Zheng Cao and Zhou were also charged with using extortionate means, including threats or actual use of violence, to collect debts, including debts owed to the illegal gambling business. With the exception of Lamson and Truong, all defendants are currently in custody pending detention hearings. Five defendants are expected to have detention hearings today at noon.

According to a court filing, Luong and Ngo were both members of Chinatown’s Ping On Gang in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the Gang was vying for control of crime in Chinatown. Both were convicted on federal charges including heroin trafficking, and both have served sentences in federal prison.

If convicted on these charges, each of the defendants faces up to five years in federal prison to be followed by up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine on the illegal gambling business charge. Luong, Pau, Cao, Cao, and Zhou also face up to 20 years in federal prison to be followed by up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for each count of using extortionate means to collect extensions of credit.

Lastly, Wei Xing Chen, 50, of Cambridge, and Yue Q. He, age unknown, of Boston, were charged in an indictment with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and 1-benzylpiperazine, both also known as ecstasy, and possession with intent to distribute 1-benzylpiperazine. In addition, Chen, He and Xiaohong Xue, 41, also of Cambridge, were charged in the same indictment with conspiring to induce travel to engage in prostitution. Chen, who operated brothels in Cambridge and Boston, is currently in custody. Arrest warrants have been issued for He and Xue.

If convicted on the drug charges, Chen and He face up to 20 years in federal prison to be followed by at least three years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine on each count. In addition, if convicted of prostitution conspiracy, each of the defendants faces up to five years in federal prison to be followed by up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

According to the affidavit, Willis and several of his co-defendants frequented Chen’s brothels and Luong’s gambling den. Employees of Luong’s gambling business frequented Chen’s brothels. Some of Luong’s employees, including Joe, associated with Willis.

U.S. Attorney Ortiz; FBI SAC DesLauriers; William P. Offord; Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Boston Field Division; Bruce Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis made the announcement today.

The cases were investigated by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, DEA, ICE Homeland Security Investigations, Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Department of Correction, and Quincy, Cambridge, Medford, Boston and New York City Police Departments. Assistance was also received from the Broward County (Fla..) Sheriff’s Office and the Ridgeland and Dillon Police Departments in South Carolina. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy E. Moran and Richard L. Hoffman of Ortiz’s Strike Force Unit.

The details contained in the indictments are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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