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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
September 26, 2005
Contact: PIO Laura DiCesare
(202) 305-8093

Members of Large Drug Organization Sentenced for Gun, Drug, and Money Laundering Charges

Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Washington Division, Shawn A. Johnson, announced the sentencing of the following defendants in connection with their conviction by a federal grand jury on June 23, 2005:

Deone Antonio Melvin, age 26, of Lanham, Maryland, 540 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute powder and crack cocaine, distribution of cocaine, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, money laundering, possession of guns in furtherance of drug trafficking and possession of guns after being convicted of a felony;

Ramone Stephon Jones, age 27, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, 360 months in prison followed by ten years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute powder and crack cocaine, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, money laundering, possession of guns in furtherance of drug trafficking and possession of guns after being convicted of a felony;

Stephon Mason, age 31, of Fort Washington, Maryland, life imprisonment plus five years, followed by ten years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute powder and crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, money laundering, possession of guns in furtherance of drug trafficking and possession of guns after being convicted of a felony; and,

Adrian Alexander, age 28, of Suitland, Maryland, 295 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute powder and crack cocaine and possession of guns after being convicted of a felony.

The court also ordered that Melvin, Jones, and Mason forfeit $5 million to the government and that Alexander forfeit $300,000 to the government. The court also ordered that the defendants forfeit to the government various vehicles which were used to facilitate drug trafficking or which were purchased using drug proceeds.

According to evidence presented at trial, including calls intercepted as a result of several wiretaps initiated by the investigators, from 1997 through 2003, the defendants used numerous vehicles equipped with sophisticated hidden compartments to transport hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from New York to the Maryland-D.C. area, which they then redistributed to customers locally. The defendants used a drug supplier in New York to obtain the cocaine as well as vehicles equipped with hidden compartments. The sophisticated hidden compartments, which were installed in the vehicles in New York, were operated through complicated hydraulic systems which were designed to allow the defendants to evade detection by law enforcement. During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized several of the vehicles and were able to dismantle the hidden compartments, many of which contained drugs and guns.

According to evidence presented at trial, the defendants also laundered their drug proceeds by purchasing expensive cars and titling various vehicles in the names of others. The evidence showed that the defendants titled vehicles in other individuals’ names in order to conceal the fact that the vehicles were being used to facilitate their drug trafficking. Over the last two years, several other defendants have pleaded guilty to drug, money laundering and/or gun charges. Charges remain pending against Jermaine Wilson who is awaiting trial.

This Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Washington Division and the Prince George’s County Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mythili Raman and Jason M. Weinstein.

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