Member Of “Black Mafia Family” Sentenced To 30 Years For Conspiracy To Possess And Distribute Cocaine
– Featured on America’s Most Wanted
– Part of a sophisticated drug smuggling and money laundering organization
LOUISVILLE, KY – A prominent member of the “Black Mafia Family” arrested during a nationwide take-down of the drug smuggling and money laundering organization has been sentenced to 30 years in prison followed by ten years of supervised announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.
Toree Deneal Sims, age 36, of Louisville, Kentucky received an enhanced sentence by U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson, III yesterday, for being an organizer or leader of the drug trafficking organization. Sims was convicted July 21, 2011 by a federal jury in Louisville, Kentucky, on charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute over 100 kilograms of cocaine. Following a four day trial, the jury deliberated less than two hours before reaching a unanimous verdict.
“This prosecution and the serious punishment imposed should make abundantly clear that we will not permit drug trafficking organizations to operate with impunity,” said U.S. Attorney Hale. “Working collaboratively with local law enforcement, we will use every tool available to fight these criminal enterprises in the communities we serve.”
“This drug trafficking organization that brought the devastation of illicit drugs to cities across the nation has been dealt a knockout blow today. The successful investigation and prosecution of the Black Mafia Family was a result of the fine work and coordination of law enforcement agencies at the local, federal, and state levels,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Robert Corso of the DEA Detroit Field Division.
According to evidence presented at trial, Sims was a member of, and Louisville cocaine distributor for, the Detroit and Atlanta based “Black Mafia Family” (BMF), a large-scale, cocaine trafficking and money laundering organization operating in nearly a dozen states. During 2005, the DEA coordinated a nationwide take-down of the BMF, seizing more than 630 kilograms of cocaine, $14 million in U.S. currency and assets, and arresting nearly 50 BMF members and associates, including Sims, and four other individuals from the Louisville area.
The October 19, 2005, federal grand jury indictment charged Sims, Karen Johnson, Demond Ealy, Henry Gainey, Troy Lanier, and Nicole White with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. All but Sims and Johnson entered into plea agreements with the United States. Johnson was acquitted by the same jury that convicted Simms. Lanier was sentenced on March 4, 2010 to 120 months in prison followed by eight years supervised release. Lanier refused to testify at trial against Sims and was held in contempt by U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson, III. On July 26, 2011 Judge Simpson sentenced Lanier to six months federal incarceration on the contempt citation. Ealy, Gainey and White are currently awaiting sentencing.
The arrests were part of a nationwide two-year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation begun in October 2003 known as Operation Motor City Mafia. Wiretaps of founding brothers Terry and Demetrius Flenory, by DEA in Detroit led to Sims in June 2004. Evidence at trial included four intercepted conversations of Sims, aka “Pink Suit Cuz,” ordering cocaine from Terry Flenory. That shipment of 10 kilograms of cocaine was seized by DEA just outside of Detroit. From July through August 2004, a wiretap of Sims’ telephone, by DEA in Louisville, intercepted thousands of conversations between Sims and others further arranging for the sale and distribution of cocaine in Louisville. Witness testimony during trial indicated that Sims received and distributed over 100 kilograms of BMF cocaine in the Louisville market. Well known BMF former members Charles Parson and Arnold Boyd, testified against Sims during the four day trial.
According to evidence presented at trial, the gang used sophisticated “traps” or hidden compartments in stretch limousines and luxury vehicles to conceal and transport drugs and money. Some of their vehicles were equipped with devices to mechanically expel drug-tainted air in order to foil drug-sniffing dogs.
Sims was a fugitive for more than one year following an arrest warrant issued in October 2005. He was twice featured on the national television program America’s Most Wanted. Tips from the program assisted in his arrest on March 14, 2006 in an Atlanta, GA apartment complex.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Hall and was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Louisville Metro Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Kentucky State Police.