BROOKLYN MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO COCAINE CONSPIRACY AND FIREARM OFFENSE
On June 28, 2011, Arland Paulette, 55, of Brooklyn, IL, pled guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
Sentencing is set for October 3, 2011, in East St. Louis. At that time, Paulette will face penalties of 10 years’ to life imprisonment; a fine of up to $4 million, five years’ mandatory supervised release, and a $100 special assessment for the conspiracy charge, and up to ten years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, up to three years’ supervised release, and a $100 special assessment for the felon in possession of a firearm charge. Paulette also agreed to forfeit the firearm.
Paulette was indicted along with four other individuals and charged with being a member of a cocaine distribution organization in Madison, IL. Paulette actively assisted this organization by loading and unloading kilogram quantities of cocaine and drug proceeds hidden in the spare tires of vehicles. When agents went to arrest Paulette, a firearm was found in Paulette’s residence. As a previously-convicted individual, Paulette was prohibited from possessing a firearm.
The investigation was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), with the Drug Enforcement Administration as the lead agency. The OCDETF initiative is designed to bring federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and resources together to identify, target and dismantle large national and international drug trafficking organizations.
This case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Daniel T. Kapsak for prosecution.