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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 14, 2021

Methamphetamine Trafficking Conspirators Sentenced To Decades In Federal Prison

Conspirators Distributed Hundreds of Pounds of Methamphetamine Throughout West Michigan

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN—United States Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that nine defendants have been convicted and sentenced to federal prison for their role in an extensive methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy that involved the distribution of hundreds of pounds of crystal methamphetamine throughout West Michigan.  The final three defendants, who were convicted by a jury on June 10, 2021 after a four-day trial in Grand Rapids, were recently sentenced to federal prison by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff.

          Timothy Mark Calicutt, a resident of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison on October 7, 2021.  Calicutt, the Kalamazoo-based leader and organizer of this conspiracy, maintained a drug premises in Kalamazoo where he cut pure methamphetamine received from suppliers in Chicago for further distribution in Kalamazoo and Allegan Counties, and elsewhere.  Calicutt, a previously convicted felon, also illegally possessed a firearm to protect his drugs and drug proceeds.

          Dwayne Deshaun Parks, a resident of Kalamazoo, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison on October 12, 2021. Parks connected the Chicago-based suppliers with Calicutt, and admitted to agents that between late 2019 and June 2020, he distributed between 150 and 200 pounds of crystal methamphetamine into West Michigan, all of it going to Calicutt for further distribution.

          Ronald Lee Sutherland, a resident of Allegan, Michigan, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison on October 7, 2021. Sutherland purchased pounds of methamphetamine during the conspiracy directly from Parks and further distributed that methamphetamine to other individuals in Allegan County.

          In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Birge stated, “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to bringing methamphetamine traffickers to justice. Anyone who distributes methamphetamine in West Michigan faces significant penalties, including years in federal prison. This multi-agency investigation, made possible through the hard work of state, local, and federal law enforcement officers, stopped the flow of large amounts of a dangerous drug into our communities.”

          DEA began the investigation into this methamphetamine-trafficking conspiracy in 2019, in partnership with the Southwest Enforcement Team (SWET) and West Michigan Enforcement Team (WEMET) of the Michigan State Police (MSP), and the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team (KVET).

          “These nine individuals were part of a drug trafficking organization responsible for flooding western Michigan with potent and dangerous methamphetamine,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin. “These sentences should serve as a notice that DEA, and our law enforcement partners, will employ every resource to bring criminals who profit off the suffering of others to justice.”

          MSP D/F/Lt. Rick Pazder, SWET Task Force Section Commander, stated: “Operation Rabbit Hole was a long-term, thorough investigation into the drug trafficking dynamic that was dumping multiple pounds of high-purity methamphetamine into our small towns and rural communities by way of Kalamazoo and Chicago. The operation took down high-level narcotics distributors within multiple counties while simultaneously indicting the large, regional sources of narcotics supply. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and very harmful drug, and the current low cost of this drug has contributed to an unprecedented spread, spurred on by greed and indifference. This investigation, and the resulting indictments and sentences, will make a lasting, positive impact on the communities in Allegan and Barry Counties. SWET is proud to work shoulder to shoulder with our law enforcement partners and the prosecutors who made this investigation a success.”

          During the investigation, investigators seized over 18 pounds of crystal methamphetamine (including 11 pounds of crystal methamphetamine from Calicutt and Parks on June 25, 2020), two firearms, and over $27,000 in drug proceeds. The nine defendants, their crimes of convictions, and sentence information are as follows:

Defendant

City

Conviction(s)

Sentence

Timothy Mark Calicutt

Kalamazoo

  • Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine;
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine;
  • Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition;
  • Maintaining a Drug-Involved Premises.

240 months in prison

Dwayne Deshaun Parks

Kalamazoo and Chicago

  • Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine;
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine (2 counts).

240 months in prison

Ronald Lee Sutherland

Allegan

  • Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine;
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

120 months in prison

Michael Chad Sutherland

Allegan

  • Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine;
  • Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime

92 months in prison

Jackie Lee Cherry, Jr.

Muskegon

  • Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine

120 months in prison

John Allen Galbreath

Muskegon

  • Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine

120 months in prison

Larry James Martz

Allegan

  • Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine

120 months in prison

Charles William-Maurice Hudson

Battle Creek

  • Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine

63 months in prison

Sara Ann Whittemore

Allegan

  • Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine

24 months in prison

          The investigation, dubbed Operation Rabbit Hole, was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with the multijurisdictional narcotics task forces SWET, WEMET, and KVET. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel T. McGraw handled the prosecution. The investigation was part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated October 14, 2021