Fentanyl Kingpin Pleads Guilty to Drug and Money Laundering Conspiracy
DETROIT - What began as a delivery of drugs in a Sony PlayStation box led agents to a stash location in Novi where a drug organization stored more than 30 kilograms of fentanyl and over half a million dollars. Yesterday, the California-based leader of that organization pleaded guilty to a drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy.
United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison announced the plea and was joined in the announcement by Orville O. Greene, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Charles E. Miller, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Division of the Internal Revenue Service.
Maurice Montain McCoy, Jr., 41, of Moreno Valley, California, led a drug and money laundering conspiracy that had distribution hubs in multiple cities across the United States, including Novi, Michigan, where the organization stored more than 30 kilograms of fentanyl and over half a million dollars. The DEA’s July 2017 raid resulting in the discovery of the drugs and cash was, at the time, the largest fentanyl seizure in Michigan and one of the largest in the country. The seizure was the result of agents’ creative investigative work after they traced a UPC code off a Sony PlayStation box that was used to deliver heroin to a drug customer. That UPC code led to the Novi condominium where the PlayStation was active. Agents identified couriers who crisscrossed the U.S. delivering kilograms, transporting bulk currency, or laundering money, leading to multiple arrests and additional seizures in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Baltimore, Maryland, where the organization also operated. McCoy directed the organization’s activity and lived lavishly off the proceeds, purchasing a Porsche Panamera, expensive jewelry, including diamond and gold pendants for some members of his drug organization, and a half a million-dollar home in the greater Los Angeles area.
Of the 18 defendants charged, 16 have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing. Two defendants are scheduled for trial on November 16.
McCoy, who previously served ten years in federal prison for a drug conviction in California, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison with a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.
“Fentanyl is now the leading cause of overdose deaths. It is inherently dangerous and 50 times more potent than heroin. The number of lives saved by this seizure is infinite. Individuals who traffic deadly drugs in our community will be held accountable for the harm they inflict on our citizens,” stated United States Attorney Dawn Ison.
“More than 15 million deadly dosages of fentanyl were seized from this organization – that is more than enough to kill the entire population of Michigan. This case is testament to the hard work and innovative thinking on the part of the men and women of the DEA Detroit Division, and our federal state and local partners.”
McCoy is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Terrence G. Berg on March 16, 2023.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement (OCDETF) Southeast Regional Strike Force. Assistant United States Attorneys Andrea Hutting, Craig Wininger, and Gjon Juncaj prosecuted the case for the United States.