California Man Involved in Multi-Kilogram Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy Sentenced to 27 Years' Imprisonment
RICHMOND, Va. – On March 25, 2013, Hiram Granados Alvarez, 38, of Riverside, California, was sentenced to 324 months’ imprisonment for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving several kilograms of cocaine.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Robert Brisolari, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the sentencing was announced by United States District Judge Henry E. Hudson.
According to court documents, Hiram Alvarez and others conspired together to broker a series of large cocaine transactions. The first transaction they attempted, in January 2012, involved efforts to obtain 100 kilograms of cocaine for a potential buyer in Baltimore, Maryland. The participants flew to Richmond, Virginia, and then traveled to Baltimore for a meeting scheduled to take place on January 27, 2012. The conspirators met at an apartment and counted the funds gathered by the proposed buyers, totaling approximately $1,499,377.00 in United States currency. Soon after the money was counted, three co-defendants (Dion Williams, Torry Zenon, and Vincent Williams) were arrested in possession of the cash, two Royal Sovereign money counters, two handguns, and other items. As a result, the transaction was not consummated.
Hiram Alvarez and others coordinated a second drug transaction to take place in March 2012. Documents filed with the Court show that Alvarez contacted co-defendant Topeka Sam in February 2012, and 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. To execute those transactions, Sam and another co-defendant travelled to Richmond, Virginia, on March 7, 2012, to meet with sellers at the Hooter’s Restaurant, located at 7912 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia. At 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. She 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.
On March 8, 2012, Sam, co-defendant Percy Robinson, and another co-defendant met with the proposed sellers at an address in Randallstown, Maryland. At that location, Robinson 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 in possession of approximately $255,360.
Later on March 8, 2012, Sam and co-defendant Reginald Marshall met with the proposed sellers at the Randallstown, Maryland address to discuss Marshall’s proposed cocaine purchase. 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 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.
To date, all of the arrested defendants have been convicted:
- Topeka Kimberly Sam pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 130 months’ imprisonment on January 11, 2013.
- Percy Robinson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 130 months’ imprisonment on November 13, 2012.
- Reginald Marshall pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment on January 29, 2013.
- Susan Smallwood pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 57 months’ imprisonment on November 20, 2012.
- Dion Levering Williams pleaded guilty and is scheduled for sentencing on April 19, 2013.
- Torry Von Zenon was convicted at trial and is scheduled for sentencing on May 31, 2013.
- Vincent A. Williams was convicted at trial and is scheduled for sentencing on April 26, 2013.
The investigation was coordinated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, 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’s Office, and Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Gill, Jamie Mickelson, and Peter Duffey are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.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.