News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Eleven individuals indicted for conspiring to distribute heroin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2012


MINNEAPOLIS—Recently in federal court, eleven individuals were indicted for conspiring to distribute heroin. Marcus Lashaun Banks, age 31, David Lamont Loggins, age 40, Marshall Francois Scurlock, age 33, Andre Maurice Smith, age 37, all of Minneapolis; Alvin Benex Collins, age 56, Lamont Columbus Harper, age 35, both of St. Paul; Damien Dwayne Eastling, age 23, of Oakdale; Demon Robert Franklin, age 36, of White Bear Lake; Steve Latimore, age 38, of New Brighton; Deon Dimitri McGhee, age 32, of Columbia Heights; and William Deante Taylor, age 37, of Plymouth, were indicted for one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin. The indictment, which was filed on October 15, 2012, was unsealed yesterday.

In addition, several individuals were charged with one or more counts of distribution of heroin or with possession with intent to distribute heroin. Smith, Collins, and Latimore were each charged with one count of distribution of heroin, Harper with eight counts, Scurlock with eleven counts, Eastling with six counts, and Franklin with two counts. Harper, Eastling, Scurlock, and McGhee were also indicted on one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin. Collins was charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin.      

According to the indictment, from the year 2000 through October 15, 2012, the defendants conspired with each other and others to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. On August 22, 2008, Smith allegedly distributed approximately 25 grams of heroin. Harper, Scurlock, Eastling, Franklin, and Collins purportedly distributed a total of at least 49 grams of heroin from February 7, 2012, to July 24, 2012. Between April 30, 2012, and August 27, 2012, Eastling, Scurlock, McGhee, and Collins also allegedly possessed a total of at least 59.4 grams of heroin with the intent to distribute it. On September 5, 2012, Latimore purportedly distributed 4.5 grams of heroin.

If convicted, all the defendants face a potential maximum penalty of ten years to life in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute one kilogram of heroin. Smith, Collins, Latimore, Harper, Scurlock, Eastling, and Franklin face a potential maximum penalty of twenty years in prison for each count of distribution of heroin. Harper, Eastling, Scurlock, McGhee, and Collins also face a potential maximum penalty of twenty years in prison for each count of possession with intent to distribute heroin.

This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Anoka-Hennepin Narcotics and Violent Crimes Task Force, the Northwest Metro Drug Task Force, the Southwest Hennepin Drug Task Force, the St. Paul Police Department, the Minneapolis Police Department, the Lino Lakes Police Department, the New Brighton Police Department, the Plymouth Police Department, the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Safe Streets Task Force. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Hollenhorst.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.

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