Two Defendants Involved in Multi-Kilogram Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy Plead Guilty
RICHMOND, Va. – Two defendants connected to drug trafficking involving their proposed purchase of several kilograms of cocaine have pled guilty for their roles in the drug trafficking conspiracy. Yesterday and earlier today, Topeka Kimberly Sam, 36, of New York City, New York, and Percy Robinson, 44, of North Haledon, New Jersey, both pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute Over Five Kilograms of Cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. Each faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, and at least five years of Supervised Release. Both sentencings are scheduled to take place before United States District Judge James R. Spencer, with Sam scheduled for November 28, 2012, at 11:00 a.m., and Robinson scheduled for November 13, 2012, at 9:00.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Ava A. Cooper-Davis, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Washington Field Division; made the announcement after the most recent guilty plea entered by Percy Robinson this morning.
According to the 3-count indictment, both defendants were involved in a drug trafficking conspiracy with roots in California, beginning in January 2012 when co-Defendant Hiram Granados Alvarez, 37, of Riverside, California, and others allegedly conspired together to broker a 100 kilogram cocaine transaction for a potential buyer in Baltimore, Maryland. According to the indictment, those efforts culminated in the participants flying to Richmond, Virginia, and then travelling to Baltimore, Maryland for a meeting scheduled to take place on January 27, 2012. In Baltimore, the conspirators counted the funds gathered by the proposed buyers, totaling approximately $1,499,377.00 in United States currency. Soon after the money was counted, two defendants and another individual were arrested in possession of the cash, two Royal Sovereign money counters, two handguns, and other items.
Hiram Alvarez and others coordinated a second drug transaction to take place in March 2012, which involved Sam, Robinson and others. According to the sworn Statement of Facts executed by Sam, Sam was contacted by Alvarez in February 2012, who advised that he (Alvarez) had a seller willing to supply approximately 50 kilograms of cocaine. Sam, in turn, located two buyers who were willing to pay $26,000 per kilogram of cocaine. Those buyers included Robinson and another charged co-defendant, Reginald Marshall, 49, of Baltimore, Maryland. The actual transaction was scheduled to take place in early March 2012, beginning with a meeting with the proposed sellers in Richmond, Virginia.
Sam admitted that she travelled to Richmond, Virginia, on March 7, 2012, along with another co-defendant to meet with sellers at the Hooter’s Restaurant, located at 7912 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia. At the Hooter’s, Sam met with three individuals who she believed to be the sellers. Sam and the proposed sellers travelled to a storage facility located at 9001 Brook Road, Glen Allen, Virginia, where she inspected an undercover “trap” vehicle designed to conceal and transport kilogram quantities of cocaine. Sam viewed approximately 50 kilograms of cocaine that were concealed in the vehicle, and personally inspected 2 kilograms of cocaine. Sam agreed to purchase all 50 kilograms of cocaine, with 25 kilograms going to a buyer from Maryland, and another 25 kilograms going to a buyer from New York (Robinson).
On March 8, 2012, Sam, Robinson, and another co-defendant met with the proposed sellers at an address in Randallstown, Maryland. At that location, Robinson agreed in his sworn Statement of Facts that he negotiated his proposed purchase of 25 kilograms of cocaine and presented approximately $250,000 in United States currency to serve as partial payment for the cocaine purchase. Robinson agreed to meet with the sellers on the following day to present additional money to complete the drug transaction. Robinson left the address and was intercepted by law enforcement during a traffic stop, at which time he was found in possession of approximately $255,360.
Later on March 8, 2012, Sam and Reginald Marshall met with the proposed sellers at the Randallstown, Maryland address to discuss Marshall’s proposed purchase of the other 25 kilograms of cocaine. Marshall negotiated the transaction and presented approximately $80,000 in United States currency to serve as partial payment for the cocaine. Marshall and Sam left soon thereafter with the understanding that Marshall would gather more funds to complete the purchase. Later that same day, law enforcement officers intercepted Marshall and Sam during a traffic stop, at which time the two were allegedly found in possession of approximately $89,074.
Finally, on April 24, 2012, Sam and Robinson travelled to Richmond, Virginia to meet with proposed sellers about another drug transaction. During that meeting, Robinson agreed to purchase another 30 kilograms of cocaine. Soon thereafter, both Sam and Robinson were arrested by law enforcement for their alleged role in the drug trafficking conspiracy.
Aside from Sam and Robinson, four other defendants are currently set for trial on October 10, 2012.
The investigation was coordinated by the Drug Enforcement Agency, which received assistance from the Chesterfield County Police Department, Hanover Sheriff’s Office, Richmond Police Department, Virginia State Police, Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department, Baltimore City Police Department, Maryland State Police Department, Colton Police Department, Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Maryland Transit Administration Police, Maryland Natural Resources Police, Chino Police Department, Riverside Police Department, San Bernardino City Police Department, Pine Hill Police Department, Portsmouth Sheriff’, and Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Gill and Jamie Mickelson are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.