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Press Release

Eight Individuals Charged in Duluth Area Fentanyl and Methamphetamine Trafficking Conspiracy

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

DULUTH, Minn. – Eight members of a Chicago-based drug trafficking conspiracy have been indicted for fentanyl and methamphetamine distribution in Duluth and surrounding areas, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, between December 2021 and February 2024, Carl Maurice Brown, 32, of Chicago, Robert Desean Chism, 35, of Chicago, Matthew James Erickson, aka “EZ,” 35, of Duluth, Anthony Lenard Green, 34, of Chicago, Ezell Cordero Lucas, aka “Cash,” 32, of Chicago, Arreal Dominique Timberlake, 30, of Chicago, Deandre Michael Westmoreland, 35, of Chicago, and Pharoo Nasun Witherspoon, 35, of Chicago, conspired to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine throughout Duluth and the Twin Ports region. Lucas, who was identified by law enforcement as the leader of the conspiracy, arranged the fentanyl sales in Duluth and directed other members of the conspiracy to conduct the transactions. Throughout the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers with the Lake Superior Violent Offender Task Force have seized large quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine from conspiracy members.

All eight defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Chism and Westmoreland made their initial appearances earlier today in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois. Brown, Erickson, Green, and Lucas previously made their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in the District of Minnesota. Witherspoon is currently serving a term of imprisonment in Cook County, Illinois. Timberlake previously made her initial appearance in the Northern District of Illinois. Timberlake’s and Witherspoon’s initial appearances in U.S. District Court in the District of Minnesota will be scheduled at a later date.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Lake Superior Violent Offender Task Force, the Duluth Police Department, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, the Superior (WI) Police Department, the Virginia Police Department, the Hibbing Police Department, and Arrowhead Regional Corrections, with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service and the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Garrett S. Fields is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated April 2, 2024

Drug Trafficking