News and Press Releases

LAST OF THREE GIBSON BROTHERS SENTENCED FOR COCAINE CONSPIRACY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Leondray Gibson 36, convicted of conspiracy charges together with his co-defendant brothers James, 41, and Sidney Gibson, 40, has been sentenced to life imprisonment, announced United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh.

Following a six-day jury trial in August of last year, the three Gibson brothers, all of Tallahassee, were convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine in cities throughout north Florida and south Georgia between 2000 and 2009.

At the sentencing hearing held yesterday in Pensacola, U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers found that Leondray Gibson was responsible for the distribution of at least 347 kilograms of cocaine, that he was a leader of an extensive criminal organization, and that he possessed firearms in furtherance of the conspiracy. While this defendant claimed to be a music promoter, witnesses at trial testified that he lost money in that business and that his money came from drugs. Witnesses said that he worked his way up from street drug sales to direct importations of as much as 50 kilograms of cocaine at a time, directly from Mexico.

In November of last year, James Gibson was sentenced to life imprisonment, based upon the court’s finding that he had multiple prior felony drug convictions and was responsible for the distribution of more than five kilograms of cocaine. James Gibson had operated an auto upholstery business in Tallahassee before his arrest. On the same date, Sidney Gibson was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment, to be served consecutively to a three year sentence for committing cocaine offenses while under supervision for a previous cocaine conviction. In August 2008, barely six months after Sidney Gibson had finished serving his federal prison sentence for his previous cocaine offense, law enforcement seized two kilograms of cocaine on which his fingerprints were found.

At sentencing, the government noted that witness testimony about the quantity of drugs distributed was corroborated by evidence that Leondray Gibson had spent over one million dollars in unexplained income. The government seized a number of vehicles and other assets during the investigation.

A fourth co-defendant, Kelvin L. Burton, 43, of Ocala, pled guilty under the same indictment and received a seven year sentence in August of last year. Burton was the transporter of the two kilogram shipment seized in August 2009.

U.S. Attorney Marsh praised the hard work and cooperative efforts of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the many local agencies who made this prosecution successful. She stated “as the sentences in this case demonstrate, those who choose to make their living by selling dangerous drugs will be prosecuted and punished to the full extent our laws allow.”

The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael T. Simpson.

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