Flint Man Sentenced for Role in Drug Conspiracy
Shawn Smith, 37, of Flint, was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Flint following his conviction for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack and heroin, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today. McQuade was joined in the announcement by Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley, III.
United States District Court Judge Mark A. Goldsmith sentenced Smith on Wednesday, September 5, 2012, to 25 years in federal prison to be followed by 10 years of supervised release. Smith was found by the Court to have been an important part in the Lamonte Watson drug trafficking conspiracy. Watson was sentenced to life in federal prison on June 27, 2012. The Court noted that drug dealing was a “scourge” to the community and stated that the seriousness of Smith’s offense could not be overstated.
"The members of this conspiracy were responsible for significant drug trafficking in Flint," McQuade said. "We hope that removing these criminals from the streets will restore public safety to this community."
FBI Special Agent in Charge Foley stated, "Drug trafficking represents a serious threat to quality of life in our communities and endangers countless lives. This sentencing sends a strong message that the FBI and its law enforcement partners are committed to rooting out drug activity and violent crime."
Smith was convicted by a jury of conspiring with Watson and others to distribute controlled substances, possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and heroin, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The evidence at trial established that the conspiracy was responsible for the distribution of more than five kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of heroin and 280 grams of crack. Witnesses testified that Watson and Smith had supplied drugs to others from, at least, 2007, through June 2010. Watson worked with others, including Smith, to bring drugs into Flint, to test the quality of the drugs and to redistribute the drugs.
During the investigation, officers seized over $100,000 in cash, in excess of a kilogram of cocaine and large quantities of heroin and marijuana. Officers also seized numerous guns, including AK-47, AR-15 and SKS assault style rifles. The cash, guns and a number of vehicles were forfeited to the federal government.
Ultimately, 13 men were indicted as a result of the investigation. All 13 have now been convicted of various felony offenses, either after trial or by guilty plea.
The two year long investigation was conducted by the Genesee County Safestreets Taskforce. The Safestreets Taskforce is comprised of special agents of the FBI and officers from the Michigan State Police, the Genesee County Sheriff's Department and the Flint Police Department. Officers assigned to the Flint Area Narcotics Group (FANG) were also integral to the investigation. The case was prosecuted by the Flint branch of the United States Attorney’s Office.