WASHINGTON, D.C. - A former Federal Bureau of Investigation informant has been sentenced to 121 months in prison for scheming to deceive the FBI during a three-and-a-half year federal grand jury investigation in Detroit, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and Inspector General Glenn A. Fine announced today. Myron Strong, 34, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge John Corbett O’Meara in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Strong had previously pleaded guilty to nine felony counts, including obstruction of justice, witness tampering, theft of government property, retaliating against a federal official, and four counts of distribution of a controlled substance. Strong also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of obstruction of justice for crimes he committed from prison while awaiting trial on the earlier charges. At the time of his guilty plea, Strong admitted that he had engaged in a scheme to defraud law enforcement between September 2000 and February 2004 by inventing a fictitious international drug trafficking organization that he claimed was distributing cocaine, heroin and marijuana across the country through several purported drug dealers in the Detroit area, including “Fly” and “Zule Obawallah Shule.” During the alleged scheme, Strong falsely accused real individuals of being drug dealers and submitted drugs and other substances as alleged evidence of their crimes. He also recruited individuals, including associate Robert Ready, to pose as drug dealers during scripted phone calls and staged drug deals with undercover agents. Strong and his associates netted approximately $240,000 in drug money and other investigative expenses, according to the documents filed in court. Strong admitted that during the scheme, he recruited others to falsely incriminate the then-Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office in phone calls that Strong knew were being monitored by the FBI. In those calls, it was falsely suggested that the purported drug dealers had an improper relationship with the FBI SAC and that the SAC had given them information about the FBI’s investigation into their drug trafficking. Strong also admitted that to add credibility to the story, and to ensure the continued theft of funds, he had associate Andre Boone pose as a drug dealer to falsely claim that he learned from the SAC the identity of an FBI undercover agent working on the case. Then, playing the drug dealer, Boone read scripts Strong prepared and threatened to kill the undercover agent. Strong, in turn, offered to help find the drug dealer who made the threats, though he knew he was providing false information which led the investigators further away from the true identity of the supposed drug dealer.
The Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General, the FBI, and the Public Integrity Section of the Department’s Criminal Division began an investigation following Strong’s false incrimination of the SAC. The investigation quickly uncovered Strong’s misconduct and exonerated the SAC of any wrongdoing. As the criminal case against Strong was proceeding to trial, investigators uncovered more crimes Strong committed while detained at the Milan, Michigan federal prison. Strong’s guilty plea included a charge of obstruction of justice for manipulating family members and fellow Milan inmates to give scripted exculpatory testimony at his trial, to give scripted false evidence against Andre Boone and Robert Ready after Boone and Ready began cooperating with the government, and to otherwise obstruct his criminal case. Boone and Ready pleaded guilty in August 2004 and have since cooperated with the government against Strong. Boone was recently sentenced by Judge O’Meara to three months of home confinement and two years of supervised release. Ready is expected to be sentenced by Judge O’Meara on Monday, Oct. 31, 2005.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Kartik K. Raman and Daniel Schwager of the Public Integrity Section, headed by Section Chief Noel L. Hillman, with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Allen of the Eastern District of Michigan. The investigation is being handled by the Chicago Field Office of the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice, with assistance from the FBI’s Detroit Field Office.