Orlando Man Convicted of Marijuana Conspiracy
Orlando, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that a federal jury on Friday found Lavell Dashan Brown (39, Orlando) guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana. He faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison. Brown was indicted on November 30, 2011.
According to evidence presented at trial, Brown was a participant in a drug trafficking organization that used the U.S. Mail to distribute high grade (hydroponic) marijuana from Northern California to Central Florida. As part of the conspiracy, Chi Tam Dang a/k/a “Tam Dang” (31, San Leandro, California) and others mailed marijuana parcels from Northern California to addresses located throughout the United States, including Central Florida. Brown was one of the individuals in Orlando who received marijuana parcels and distributed them to another member of the organization. The type of hydroponic marijuana distributed by this organization typically sells for more than $5,000 a pound. In total, agents have identified more than 140 marijuana parcels that were mailed from Northern California to Central Florida and have traced more than $1.3 million in drug proceeds that were sent from Central Florida back to Dang and others in Northern California.
To date, ten individuals, including Brown, have been charged as part of this investigation. Eight have pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, including Dang, Arlonzo W. Moore (30, Orlando), Angelica Maria Jimenez a/k/a “Angie Jimenez” (22, Orlando), Jason Jesus Marrero (32, Orlando), Justin W. Young (27, Ocoee), Thomas James McMath (30, Winter Garden), Doren Fiddler (29, Orlando), and Iris Carrion (27, Orlando). Young and McMath have each been sentenced to six months of home detention and two years of probation. The others are awaiting sentencing.
Valerie Joseph (27, Orlando) was indicted on September 28, 2011 and is scheduled for trial in March 2012. If convicted, Joseph faces a minimum of 5 years up to 40 years in federal prison. An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
These cases were investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.