In the Eastern District of Arkansas Sixteen Defendants Have Been Charged in an Alleged Cocaine Conspiracy

May 15, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 14, 2013 released the following:

“Sixteen Defendants, Including Mexican Drug Cartel Members, Charged in Cocaine Conspiracy

Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Randall C. Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Little Rock Field Office, announce that a 25-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury on May 2, 2013, was unsealed today charging sixteen defendants in Arkansas, Texas, and Mexico with multiple drug offenses. The indictment alleges the lead defendant, Idalia Ramos Rangel, a/k/a La Tia or Big Momma, is a high-ranking member of the Gulf Cartel who directs a drug trafficking organization based in Matamoros, Mexico. That organization is responsible for the distribution of multiple hundreds of kilograms of cocaine in the United States.

The indictment is the result of a large-scale investigation into cocaine and narcotics trafficking from Mexico to Arkansas. Agents determined that Rangel’s drug trafficking organization is responsible for delivery of more than one hundred kilograms of cocaine in Arkansas. The charges in the indictment include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, distribution of cocaine, and use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime. All 16 defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. If convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, each defendant will face a sentence of not less than 10 years to life imprisonment.

“The arrests made in this case have dismantled a primary supply of cocaine into the State of Arkansas,” stated Thyer. “From the Gulf Cartel to prison to the streets of Central Arkansas, this was not a typical case to investigate. I want to thank the FBI for their leadership in this investigation. I also want to acknowledge the significant investigative work the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Little Rock Police Department provided. Those who do business with drug cartels should be on notice that law enforcement is investigating and will commit the resources necessary to punish them for their illegal trafficking.”

“Today, a strong group of dedicated federal, state, and local law enforcement officials—from Arkansas to Texas—came together to disrupt a criminal drug enterprise directly linked to the Gulf Cartel,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Randall Coleman. “It was simply a case of outstanding teamwork. In Arkansas, we will continue to work together to disrupt and dismantle those groups who choose to conduct their criminal enterprise activities here.”

According to the indictment, Rangel’s family members are alleged to be involved in the drug distribution conspiracy. Her son, Mohammed Kazam Martinez, a/k/a Mo, a federal inmate in the Bureau of Prisons, recruited inmates in the Federal Correctional Complex at Forrest City, Arkansas, to distribute Rangel’s Gulf Cartel cocaine upon their release from prison. Those inmates included Emmanuel Ilo, a/k/a Chi Chi or Chi, and Mervin Johnson, a/k/a Slim, who the indictment alleges began distributing kilogram and multi-ounce quantities of the cocaine in Central Arkansas upon their release from federal prison. Mohammed Martinez communicated with members of this drug trafficking organization using the prison telephone and e-mail systems to coordinate the distribution of cocaine to, and the collection of drug proceeds from, former federal inmates and others. Another of Rangel’s sons, Homar Martinez, and one of her daughters, Nishme Martinez, are also charged as part of the conspiracy.

The indictment alleges that Ilo distributed Rangel’s Gulf Cartel cocaine to Dwatney Noid; Dwight McLittle, a/k/a D.A.; Lamont Williams, a/k/a Peter Rabbit; Gerard Trice, a/k/a Fly; Tarvars Honorable, a/k/a Pudgy; and others for redistribution to customers in the Eastern District of Arkansas. The FBI made multiple controlled purchases of cocaine in Central Arkansas totaling more than one kilogram during the investigation of this case.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, with substantial assistance from the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Little Rock Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Gordon and Chris Givens.

An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney’s Office News Release

Defendants/Charges
Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine:

  • Idalia Ramos Rangel, 57, Matamoros, Mexico
  • *Mohammed Kazam Martinez, 31, Beaumount, Texas
  • *Emanuel Ilo, 34, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Mervin Johnson, 37, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • *Homar Martinez, 31, Brownsville, Texas
  • Manuel Garza, 31, Brownsville, Texas
  • *Jaime Benevides, 27, Austin, Texas
  • *Nishme Martinez, 26, Austin, Texas
  • *Denice Duran Martinez, 34, Brownsville, Texas
  • *Yadira Anahy Martinez, 36, Brownsville, Texas
  • Dwatney Noid, 30, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • *Dwight McLittle, 27, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • *Shanieka Tatum, 35, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • *Lamont Williams, 34, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Gerard Trice, 29, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • *Tarvars Honorable, 33, Little Rock, Arkansas

* Denotes individual is in custody.

In addition to the conspiracy charges, the following defendants are also charged with the following crimes:

  • Emanuel Ilo: distribution of cocaine (six counts) and use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (two counts)
  • Mervin Johnson: distribution of cocaine (one count)
  • Dwatney Noid: distribution of cocaine (two counts) and use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (two counts)
  • Dwight McLittle: distribution of cocaine (six counts)
  • Shanieka Tatum: use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (three counts)
  • Lamont Williams: use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (two counts)
  • Gerard Trice: use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (two counts)
  • Tarvars Honorable: distribution of cocaine base (one count) and use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (one count).

Statutory Sentences

Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine is punishable by not less than 10 years, not more than life, incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $10,000,000, and not less than five years’ supervised release.

Possession with intent to distribute less than 500 grams of cocaine or less than 28 grams of cocaine base is punishable by not more than 20 years’ incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $1,000,000 and not less than three years’ supervised release.

Use of a communication facility to facilitate a drug trafficking crime are not more than four years’ incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $250,000 and not more than one year supervised release.”

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

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 remain at large in Ark. corruption probe

October 12, 2011

The Associated Press (AP) on October 12, 2011 released the following:

“By NOMAAN MERCHANT, Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Federal officials continued their search Wednesday for several people who remained at large following a widespread crackdown on corruption that culminated in the arrests of dozens of others this week in eastern Arkansas.

FBI spokesman Steve Frazier said the bureau and other law enforcement agencies were still hunting for the last of the 70 people indicted on racketeering, money laundering and drug charges as part of the four-year investigation known as “Operation Delta Blues.” Five law enforcement officers were among those indicted.

Fifty-one people were arrested Tuesday, and another five were arrested Wednesday, including some who turned themselves in, Frazier said. Those detained were expected to appear Thursday morning in federal court.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer said in an interview that he expected some defendants to take guilty pleas “relatively quickly.” He declined to say if any of the defendants had agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

“If they want their day in court, we’re willing to give it to them,” Thyer said.

News of the investigation rocked Helena-West Helena, a Mississippi Delta town plagued for years by crime, poverty and allegations of corruption. Some residents awoke Tuesday to the sound of helicopters buzzing overhead.

“I’m thankful,” said Linda Walters, a school bus driver who waited outside a press conference Tuesday afternoon after hearing the news.

She said the constant gunfire outside her home had forced her to look into moving to another city.

“I have to go sleep, hit the floor every time I hear a bullet shot,” she said. “I’m so upset.”

Helena-West Helena Mayor Arnell Willis sat next to reporters during the news conference. Willis had gone to Little Rock a month ago to plead with Thyer for federal help. Thyer didn’t tell Willis about Operation Delta Blues until Tuesday’s arrests, but Willis said he didn’t mind.

“Welcome to the dawning of a new day in the Delta,” he told reporters afterward.

The indictments accused the five officers of taking payments to guard shipments of cocaine and other drugs. Phillips County sheriff’s deputy Winston Dean Jackson is allegedly caught on a federal wiretap talking to another deputy about a payment by a defense lawyer in exchange for “failing to perform law enforcement duties.”

The unidentified deputy said the payment fell under “the good old boy” system and that anyone not involved would “get rolled over.”

Thyer would not comment on any future indictments but said the investigation was still ongoing.

According to the indictment, Jackson responded, “You get rolled over, exactly. Cause nobody say … ain’t nothing but the good old boy system.”

Helena-West Helena police officers Herman Eaton, Robert “Bam Bam” Rogers and Marlene Kalb allegedly escorted drug shipments, each receiving $500 from someone posing as a drug dealer. A Marvell police officer, Robert Wahls, is charged with accepting money from an informant and escorting a drug shipment.

It was not immediately clear if the five officers had attorneys yet. Relatives of the officers could not be reached. The federal public defender’s office in Little Rock did not return requests for comment.

Hundreds of officers from the FBI, Arkansas State Police and other agencies helped make Tuesday’s arrests. An FBI special agent was shot during one arrest, but was not seriously injured and later released from the hospital.”

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.

Bookmark and Share