A federal indictment, returned by a grand jury December 2012, was unsealed Friday, January 18, 2013, charging 20 Dallas-Fort Worth area residents with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.
More than half of the defendants are in custody, following an operation this week conducted by the following law enforcement agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI); the Dallas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA); the Desoto, Dallas, Balch Springs, Arlington and Midlothian police departments; Dallas County Sheriff’s Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
This announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
During the course of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation, law enforcement executed federal and state search warrants that resulted in the seizure of about 25 pounds of hydroponic marijuana, more than 600 marijuana plants, 10 vehicles and five firearms.
The indictment charges the below-named defendants in the drug conspiracy:
- Sylvespa Eugene Adams, aka “Sylvesta Adams,” “Pa,” and “Paw,” 25,
- Alma Diane Smith, aka “Diane Williams,” 30,
- Michael Wayne-Cortez Ayers, aka “Big Mike,” 33,
- Isaac Demon Mathis, aka “Ike” “Issac Damone Mathis,” 30,
- David Laploise Jones, aka “Nino,” 31,
- Kory Lamonte Crayton, aka “Mokmu Tave” and “Coon,” 39,
- Taurus Kion Silmom, aka “T.K.,” 30,
- Nathan Dewayne Brown, 21,
- Connell Heads, 50,
- Marvin Jamel Fantroy, aka “Seven,” 32,
- Lamondrius Denard Kidd, 28,
- Modrick Jamal Spencer, 28,
- Waymon Madison, 39,
- Edward Lee Witherspoon, 50,
- Robin James Criss, aka “June Bug,” 30,
- Andre Demacus Reid, aka “Black,” 27,
- Rachael O’Neal, 20,
- Natasha Brown, 34,
- Jovanna Renee Bonner, 19, and
- Precious Starr Lecreas Gowans, 30.
Defendants Sylvespa Eugene Adams and Alma Diane Smith are also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The indictment alleges that since January 2010, Adams and Smith conspired together, and with others, to conduct financial transactions involving the proceeds of their crime that were designed to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source or ownership of the proceeds. The indictment alleges the following:
- they stored and concealed drug proceeds,
- caused cash to be transported as payment for drugs,
- disposed of proceeds derived from the distribution and sale of narcotics by purchasing assets to conceal and disguise the nature and source of the proceeds,
- structured deposits of U.S. currency, and
- used a business front to create the appearance of a legitimate of source of funds to hide the true nature and source of the funds.
A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury; a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana count carries a statutory sentence of at least five years and up to 40 years in federal prison and a $5 million fine. The conspiracy to commit money laundering count, upon conviction, carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine.
In addition, the indictment includes a forfeiture allegation, which would require convicted defendants to forfeit the proceeds of their criminal activity. It would also require some of the defendants, upon conviction, to forfeit numerous vehicles, including a Mercedes, a Porsche and a Bentley, as well as numerous pieces of real estate.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Phelesa Guy, Northern District of Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.