16 Additional People Indicted in Large Scale
JUN 15 – Sixteen individuals have been charged in a second superseding indictment with violating various federal drug laws which include conspiracy to distribute in excess of 476 kilograms of cocaine and laundering in excess of $270,000,000 in U.S. currency. In addition, two defendants have been charged with unlawfully engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise announced United States Attorney Stephen J. Murphy. Mr. Murphy was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Corso, Drug Enforcement Administration, Special Agent in Charge Maurice Aouate, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Marshal Robert Grubbs, United States Marshal Service, and Peter Munoz, Director of the Michigan State Police.
Indicted were Jacob Arabov, 41, Eric Wayne Bivens, 35, Gwendolyn Deshawn Browen, 36, Chad Brown, 33, Paul Sheldon Buford, Jr., 36, Ronald Wayne Canyon, 44, Charles Edward Flenory, 58, Nathan Ashley Gleton, 44, Wayne Darnell Joyner, 48, Maurice Pierre-Gordon King, 25, David J. Solomon, Jr., 32, Larry Van Steele, 39, Randy Steele, 32, William Richard Turner, 37, David Walker, 25 and Marlon Terrell Welch, 25.
The second superseding indictment, which was returned on May 10, 2006 and unsealed today, is part of a previous indictment returned last year that alleges that Terry Flenory, Demetrius Flenory and twenty-three others operated a drug organization, at some point named the "Black Mafia Family" (BMF), which dealt in multi-kilo quantities of cocaine in the Detroit metropolitan area beginning in the early 1990's. By the mid 1990's, the organization extended into other parts of the country including Kentucky, Georgia, Missouri, California, and Texas. As part of the conspiracy, BMF would use vehicles equipped with traps and hidden compartments to conceal and transport the cash generated from the sale of cocaine.
Since 2000, law enforcement officers from across the country have seized over 476 kilograms of cocaine destined for distribution by this organization. And, over $5 million in cash belonging to the group was seized by law enforcement officers between October,1997 and June 2005. The members of this organization, using the illegal proceeds of their narcotic sales, purchased and leased numerous luxury vehicles, acquired and sold real property and purchased jewelry while concealing the true source and nature of the funds involved in the transaction through false names and nominee purchasers. Members of the organization would provide false employment and income information to car dealerships and banks in order to obtain vehicles and real property.
It is alleged that members of the organization would deposit large amounts of cash derived from the sale of cocaine into various bank accounts; purchase cashier ’ s checks and money orders; and wire transfer these funds. These funds would then be used to purchase assets and pay personal expenses with the goal of concealing the true source, nature and ownership of the funds which had been derived from the organization ’ s cocaine sales.
Members of the organization would also purchase winning four digit State of Michigan lottery tickets with drug proceeds from an individual who obtained them from the true winners in cash. These winning tickets, valued at over $1 million, would be redeemed with the State of Michigan's lottery bureau and used to purchase homes, make mortgage payments, and purchase vehicles, hiding the fact that the true source of the money were derived from Flenorys' drug organization cocaine sales..
The indictment also seeks criminal forfeiture of more than 30 pieces of jewelry, 13 residences, 35 vehicles including Lincoln Limousine, BMWs Range Rovers, Aston-Martin, and Bentleys, numerous bank accounts, over $1.2 million in seized currency, and a money judgment totaling $270 million. The real property is located in Detroit, Canton, Southfield, Ecorse, Romulus, Lithonia, Georgia and Los Angeles, California.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.