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Press Release

Albany Woman Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Conspiracy and Making False Statements to the DEA

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Kristle Walker, aka “Demii,” age 39, of Albany, pled guilty today to conspiring to commit money laundering and making false statements to the Drug Enforcement Administration.  

United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division; Troy Police Chief Daniel DeWolf; and Matthew Scarpino, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), made the announcement.

In pleading guilty, Walker admitted to conspiring with Dwight A. Singletary, aka “Nutt” and “Mike Jones,” David Singletary, aka “DB,” and McKenzie Merrialice Coles, aka “Kenzie,” among others, to launder proceeds from the sale of marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) in the Capital Region and other locations throughout the United States between at least 2019 and June 2022.  Walker laundered the drug proceeds through several means, including sending over $10,000 in money transfers purchased with cash drug proceeds from the Capital Region to Fresno and Clovis, California; exchanging $26,500 in cash drug proceeds consisting of small bills for large bills at a Capital Region credit union; purchasing over $195,000 in cashier’s checks with cash drug proceeds; and flying from the Capital Region to Fresno with suitcases full of cash drug proceeds. 

Walker was charged in an indictment with Dwight and David Singletary, Coles, and 20 other people charging marijuana distribution and money laundering conspiracies, firearms offenses, and other crimes.  Dwight Singletary, David Singletary, and Coles have pled not guilty, and are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  The charges in the indictment are merely accusations.

Federal law requires financial institutions to complete a currency transaction report for cash transactions over $10,000.  At Dwight Singletary’s direction, to avoid the reporting requirement and otherwise conceal cash drug proceeds, Walker purchased multiple cashier’s checks in amounts slightly below the reporting threshold for cash transactions of over $10,000, but amounting to over $10,000 in total, at different banks and branches on the same day.  The cashier’s checks were payable to Dwight Singletary; his company, DAS Empire, Inc.; his lawyer’s firm; a company from which he and Coles purchased real estate; and to a person from whom Dwight Singletary and DAS Empire purchased real estate.

In June 2020, Walker attempted to board a flight from Albany to Fresno with a suitcase containing $179,710 in cash drug proceeds, which was seized by the DEA.  The cash, as Walker admitted, belonged to Dwight Singletary, but Walker sought return of the cash from the DEA.  In a claim form submitted to the DEA, Walker claimed ownership of the cash and that she was not involved in criminal activity, which was untrue.

Walker faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 on the money laundering conspiracy count, and up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the false statements count.  Walker may also be required to serve up to 3 years of supervised release. 

The ATF, DEA, Troy Police Department and HSI are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cyrus P.W. Rieck and Dustin C. Segovia are prosecuting the case.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. 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.

Updated March 16, 2023

Drug Trafficking