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Press Release

Money Laundering Girlfriend of Drug Kingpin Sentenced to Over Three Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

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. Today, the girlfriend of the organization’s California based leader, who laundered the drug money and lived lavishly off the proceeds was sentenced to three years and six months in prison and ordered to forfeit her interest in a laundered home to the United States.

United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison announced the sentence and was joined in the announcement by Charles E. Miller, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, and Orville O. Greene, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Detroit Field Division.

Teeauna White, 36, of Moreno Valley, California, conspired with her boyfriend Maurice McCoy to conceal his drug money by setting up multiple businesses and controlling access to the bank accounts. Members of McCoy’s drug organization deposited drug proceeds into the bank accounts and delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars in bulk cash to McCoy and White. Together, McCoy and White reaped the benefits of the drug trade, using the money to fund their lifestyle. McCoy purchased an expensive Porsche Panamera and White bought a Bentley and Mercedes Benz. They used one of McCoy’s relatives to try to conceal their purchase of a home worth more than half a million dollars in Southern California. McCoy and White paid off their house in less than six months by funneling cash from drug sales through a labyrinth of bank accounts. They also used the drug money to buy expensive jewelry, including diamond and gold pendants for themselves and some members of McCoy’s drug organization. White often bragged on social media, posting pictures of her cars, jewelry, and lavish vacations with McCoy. White knew McCoy, who had served 10 years in federal prison for a prior drug trafficking conviction, was a convicted felon when she helped him launder drug money.

DEA and IRS led a drug and money laundering investigation and discovered drug distribution hubs in multiple cities across the U.S., including Novi, Michigan, where the organization stored more than 30 kilograms of fentanyl and over half a million dollars that DEA seized. At the time, it was the largest fentanyl seizure in Michigan and one of the largest in the U.S. 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 and Baltimore, where the organization also operated.

Of the 18 defendants charged, only White and Robin Herndon, a relative who she and McCoy used to purchase their home, went to trial. The remaining defendants, including couriers, large-scale drug customers, and McCoy himself, pleaded guilty. White and Herndon were convicted by a jury in July 2023. After the verdict, White took to social media to threaten the witnesses who had testified at trial. Her bond was immediately revoked, and she spent nearly four months in jail awaiting her sentence.

“Money launderers are an essential, but often unseen, part of the drug trade. Their relative anonymity allows money launderers to profit handsomely from the drug business, while avoiding the more significant risks of drug dealing. But they help drug dealers access and enjoy the proceeds of a crime that poisons our communities. Money launderers should be held accountable and punished commensurately with the importance of their role in drug trafficking, and we will do our part by ensuring they are aggressively prosecuted,” stated United States Attorney Dawn Ison.

“IRS Criminal Investigation special agents work tirelessly in narcotics investigations to follow the money so we can financially disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations,” said Charles Miller IRS Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Field Office. “We will not only seek to hold those accountable who traffic in drugs, but also those who help them hide or launder the illicit proceeds of these crimes that are destroying our communities.  We are proud to work hand-in-hand with our law enforcement partners to bring these criminals to justice.”

“As drug traffickers and money launderers become more sophisticated and creative in the way in which they ply their trade, the DEA and our partners will endeavor to work smarter to hold them accountable.  People who knowingly conspire to launder drug proceeds will also be held accountable for the harm they inflict on our communities” said Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene.

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.

Updated December 20, 2023

Drug Trafficking