News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2009
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
PIO/AFD
Number: 404-893-7124

Spigner, Wife Sentenced in Drug,
Gun Case Code Named "Quarter to Eight"

Drug Organization Distributed Cocaine, Marijuana Around Southeast

JAN 23 -- Atlanta, GA - STEVEN SPIGNER, 40, a/k/a “Old Boy,” “Slim,” and “Steve-O,” and his wife, YOJUANA SPIGNER, 31, a/k/a “Wanda,” both of Snellville, Georgia, were sentenced today by United States District Judge Richard W. Story on charges relating to a multi-state drug trafficking organization, which utilized weapons in furtherance of the drug trafficking, and money laundering. 

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Rodney G. Benson of the DEA Atlanta Field Division (AFD) said, “The distribution of dangerous drugs and associated gun violence are a recipe for disaster. This lifestyle will land you serious prison time or it may cost you your life. The sentences imposed upon these defendants are appropriate for the crimes that they committed.”

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, “The deadly combination of drugs and guns continues to be a priority of our federal investigative agencies and our prosecutions. Those involved in the distribution of such poison in our community often need and want weapons to defend their drug operations, and this case is no different. People who push drugs also push violence whenever it suits them.”

“The link between drug trafficking and gun violence has long been recognized by ATF,” said Special Agent in Charge Gregory K. Gant of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Atlanta Field Division. “Armed drug traffickers deserve to be hit with the full weight of federal gun, drug and forfeiture statutes. By relieving Spigner of his ill-gotten assets and sending him to prison for decades, a devastating one-two punch was delivered today, to a very deserving defendant.”

High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Director Jack Killorin said, “The key to successful investigations and prosecutions like this are the collaborations of agencies at every level of government.”

STEVEN SPIGNER was sentenced to 30 years in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. YOJUANA SPIGNER was sentenced to 3 years in prison to be followed by 3 years on a charge of misprision of a felony, related to her husband’s case. Both defendants pleaded guilty to the charges on November 20, 2008.

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: Beginning at least by November 1999, STEVEN SPIGNER distributed multi-kilo quantities of cocaine in the South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas.  SPIGNER’s drug operations were based in Gwinnett County, Georgia, with numerous couriers distributing multiple kilogram quantities of cocaine. The couriers used load vehicles with secret compartments used to store drugs and money. The drug operation also acquired and utilized various weapons in the daily operations of their drug trade.  SPIGNER accrued substantial profits, enabling him to purchase multiple top-end vehicles, including a Bentley, and to maintain at least 5 homes in Georgia and South Carolina.  SPIGNER’s wife admitted to helping him facilitate his drug business.  During the course of the multi-year investigation, agents seized multiple kilograms of cocaine from couriers, and the investigation showed that at a minimum, SPIGNER distributed at least 1000 kilograms of cocaine and had at least $1,000,000 in assets. To help hide the drug profits, SPIGNER set up a shell corporation, “Spigner Investment Group, Inc.” and used that company to launder the illegal proceeds. The investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies was code-named “Quarter to Eight,” a reference to SPIGNER’s vehicle early in the probe, a BMW 745i, which SPIGNER later traded for a more expensive vehicle.    

As part of the case, a number of properties, luxury vehicles, and cash were seized:

Property at 991 Hill Street, Atlanta, Georgia; 5263 Savannah Terrace, Stone Mountain, Georgia; 4340 Portchester Way, Snellville, Georgia; 4230 Edgewood Drive, Orangeburg, South Carolina; and 5348 Charity Way, Stone Mountain, Georgia. Vehicles including a 2003 Mercedes Benz CLK500c; a 2004 Bentley GT; a 2006 BMW 750Li; a 2007 Mercedes Benz S550; a 2005 Chrysler 300; and 2000 Nissan Quest minivan. Multiple IRA, investment and other money accounts were also seized.

This case was investigated by Special Agents and forensic auditors of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the High Intensity Drug Trafficking (HIDTA), with assistance from the Orangeburg, South Carolina, Department of Public Safety.

Assistant United States Attorneys Scott Hulsey and Dahil Goss prosecuted the case.

DEA AFD SAC Benson encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com and www.dea.gov. DEA.gov takes you directly to the Diversion Control and Prescription Drugs link.

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