LEADER OF A MARYLAND DRUG RING AND TWO CONSPIRATORS
SENTENCED TO PRISON
Conspired to Distribute Over 1,500 Pounds of Marijuana and Launder Over $1 Million
Greenbelt, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Billymir Mancilla-Brevichet, age 28, of Oakland, California, today to 90 months in prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute more than 700 kilograms of marijuana and conspiring to commit money laundering. Chief Judge Chasanow also ordered that Mancilla forfeit $278,618 seized from May to October, 2012.
Yesterday, Chief Judge Chasanow sentenced co-conspirators Chamron Thach, a/k/a Sham, age 30, of Silver Spring, Maryland, and Carlos Salvador Escobar, a/k/a Esco, age 30, of Arlington, Virginia, to eight years and three years in prison, respectively, for their participation in the drug and money laundering conspiracies.
The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.
“This case underscores the teamwork between HSI and the Montgomery County Police Department in dismantling a drug trafficking and money laundering organization,” said William Winter, HSI special agent in charge in Baltimore. “HSI works aggressively to keep illegal drugs out of our communities, and to dismantle the criminal networks that profit from drug trafficking and the crime that surrounds it.”
According to their guilty ples and court documents, from March 2011 to December 2012, Mancilla acquired large amounts of high-quality marijuana from suppliers in California and elsewhere, and arranged for the transport of the marijuana by plane, car and mail to co-conspirators in Montgomery County, Maryland, including Chamron Thach. Mancilla’s co-conspirators transported at least 100 pounds of marijuana at a time by car to a storage facility in Maryland, where Mancilla arranged for co-conspirators, including Carlos Escobar, to pick up multiple pounds of marijuana for re-distribution. When the marijuana was delivered to Maryland, Thach became responsible for redistributing the marijuana to co-conspirators and customers. Thach also received at least six pounds of marijuana every week by mail from Mancilla that he re-distributed to his drug customers in amounts up to a pound at a time. Thach had these packages delivered to co-conspirators’ homes and to a stash location he maintained in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Mancilla charged between $3,000 and $4,000 per pound of marijuana. During their participation in the conspiracy, Mancilla, Thach and Escobar conspired to distribute over 1,500 pounds of marijuana.
Mancilla arranged to receive payment for the marijuana he caused to be distributed by having drug customers deposit cash payments in amounts less than $10,000 into bank accounts that he controlled that were held in fake names and in the names of fake businesses. Mancilla and other co-conspirators, including Thach and Escobar, structured the financial transactions to evade requirements that banks must report transactions over $10,000 to the IRS, thereby concealing from the government large cash transactions by drug dealers.
Mancilla also had drug customers make payments to Escobar and other co-conspirators in Maryland, who bundled the drug proceeds together in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Thach and other individuals traveled by plane from Maryland to Mancilla in California with the bundles of money. Finally, Mancilla arranged for drug customers, including Thach, to mail drug proceeds from Maryland to him in California.
This money laundering conspiracy involved at least $1 million.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended HSI Baltimore and Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Christen A. Sproule and Mara Zusman Greenberg, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.