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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


SEPTEMBER 10, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


OPERATION X-MEN


KC MAN SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS FOR

MASSIVE ECSTASY CONSPIRACY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that two co-defendants have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute hundreds of thousands of ecstasy pills, worth approximately $2 million, as well as PCP in Jackson County, Mo.


             Dempsey Johnson, 29, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner this morning to 20 years in federal prison without parole for his role in distributing crack cocaine and ecstasy. Co-defendant Delesha Hughes, 24, also of Kansas City, was sentenced to four years and six months in federal prison without parole.


             Johnson was convicted by a federal jury on Feb. 21, 2008, for his role in a conspiracy that distributed ecstasy, crack cocaine, powder cocaine and PCP in Jackson County from Nov. 9, 2004, to Jan. 1, 2007. Hughes pleaded guilty to her role in that conspiracy.


             Also convicted at trial were co-defendants Raphael L. Donnell, 33, also known as “Rags,” of Kansas City, Boun Rattanavong, 31, of Grand Prairie, Texas, and Dung A. Nguyen, 35, of Texas. Donnell was sentenced on July 9, 2008, to 20 years in federal prison without parole. Rattanavong and Nguyen await sentencing.


             Evidence introduced in the trial of Johnson, Donnell, Rattanavong and Nguyen indicated that the conspiracy involved between 400,000 and 450,000 ecstasy pills delivered to Kansas City from Texas, as well as PCP from California. Evidence included undercover drug transactions, surveillance and telephone wiretaps that recorded conversations in which co-defendants discussed drug trafficking and firearms, including automatic weapons and assault rifles. Johnson, Donnell, Rattanavong and Nguyen were also found to be jointly and severally liable for a $2 million forfeiture to the government, which was derived from the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking.


             They are among 28 defendants charged in the drug-trafficking conspiracy. Four co-defendants were convicted at trial and 23 co-defendants pleaded guilty. The last defendant, a fugitive, was recently apprehended in Dallas, Texas.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David DeTar Newbert. It was investigated by the Jackson County Drug Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html