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SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Michael Lott, 39, of Vallejo, was sentenced to 14 years in prison yesterday after entering guilty pleas to drug trafficking charges in a wide-ranging conspiracy to distribute MDMA and crack cocaine, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. In imposing sentence, Chief United States District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. said the defendant was at the center of a massive drug conspiracy and his conduct warranted a significant sentence.
Lott’s prosecution was part of a major federal investigation into drug trafficking throughout the United States by Vallejo-based rappers and associates of an entertainment label known as “Thizz Entertainment.” In April 2012, as a result of the collaborative law enforcement effort, agents arrested a total of 25 individuals in Vallejo, Stockton, Fairfield, Oakland, Los Angeles, New York, and Oklahoma City. During the investigation, agents seized approximately 45,000 MDMA pills, 4 pounds of crack cocaine, 2 pounds of heroin, and $200,000 in suspected drug proceeds. Fourteen defendants have pleaded guilty, four have been sentenced and the rest are still pending completion.
According to court documents, the DEA-led investigation uncovered a network of drug distributors working in the “Crest” neighborhood of Vallejo, California, along with individuals transporting large quantities of drugs outside of California to realize a larger profit. A number of the participants, including defendants Norton and Franklin, performed as rappers under the entertainment label known as “Thizz Entertainment.” Many songs by artists on the Thizz Entertainment label include lyrics glorifying and promoting the use and distribution of MDMA pills.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the DEA Sacramento District Office, the Vallejo Police Department, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, and the Sacramento FBI Safe Streets Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Jason Hitt is prosecuting the case. It was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”). The OCDETF Program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.