Three Detroit Area Men Convicted on
AUG 12 -- Three Detroit area men were found guilty yesterday of federal drug trafficking and gun charges based on a seizure by local DEA agents of over one ton of marijuana hidden in a secret compartment in a 53' enclosed semi-trailer last year. The Mexican marijuana, with an estimated street value of over $2.3 million, had been shipped here from the Texas border, for distribution in metropolitan Detroit.
Found guilty were, Costica Bonas, a 47 year-old Detroit man, David Carter, a 41 year old Detroit man, and Joe Nemes, 38, of Belleville. Acquitted of all charges was Michael Hadden, 54, of Detroit, United States Attorney Stephen J. Murphy announced today.
Murphy was joined in the announcement by Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The jury deliberated for less than two days before returning the verdict, concluding a six day jury trial before United States District Judge Victoria A. Roberts.
The evidence presented at trial showed that the group was obtaining distribution quantities of marijuana from sources in both Mexico and Canada, for distribution in the Detroit area. The one ton marijuana seizure by local DEA agents at a stone-cutting warehouse in New Boston, Michigan on June 5, 2007, was the second such shipment seized by law enforcement in a six-month period in 2007. The evidence showed that the marijuana organization concealed marijuana shipments in sophisticated hidden compartments in semi-trailers, and also smuggled marijuana across from Canada on the Detroit River.
“Cross-border marijuana smuggling is a serious federal crime, and it is even more serious when firearms are involved. My office will aggressively prosecute any individuals engaged in drug trafficking in the Eastern District of Michigan, particularly armed individuals,” United States Attorney Murphy said.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Corso said, "Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal drug in the United States, and the evidence brought forth during this trial made it clear that marijuana traffickers are indeed violent. This was a sophisticated, international drug trafficking organization that is now out of business. The DEA will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice those greedy individuals that choose to disregard the federal drug laws of the United States.”
Murphy commended the work of the agents of the DEA in the investigation.
Sentencing dates have been set for January 20, 2009. Bonas and Nemes face a mandatory minimum of 10 years imprisonment, while Carter faces a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison because he carried a gun during the commission of the offense. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Buckley.