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Press Release

Willoughby Hills Man Sentenced to 16 1/2 Years in Prison for Cocaine Trafficking, Money Laundering and Firearms Possession

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

A Willoughby Hills man was sentenced to 16 1/2 years in prison for supplying multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine to other dealers for distribution in Northeast Ohio, as well as related crimes, law enforcement officials said.

Troy Williams, 44, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute heroin, being a felon in possession of a firearm and three counts of money laundering.

He was one of 12 people indicted for their roles in the conspiracy, which lasted between 2010 and 2013. All 12 have been found guilty of crimes in U.S. District Court.

Williams supplied Jason and Joseph Phillips with multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine. All the men charged then arranged for or assisted in the redistribution of the cocaine in the Northern District of Ohio and elsewhere, according to court documents.

In April 2013, Williams also possessed heroin that he intended to distribute, as well as a firearm and ammunition, despite previous felony convictions that prohibited him from having a firearm, according to court documents.

Williams laundered approximately $72,730 in drug proceeds at the Horseshoe Cleveland Casino in July and November 2012. He did this by using cash from drug proceeds to purchase casino chips, according to court documents.

“This defendant led a group that dealt cocaine and heroin throughout Cleveland,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. “He illegally carried a firearm and tried to launder his dirty drug money in downtown Cleveland. This sentence is well deserved.”

“We have zero tolerance for drug dealers. This sentence sends a clear message to those in the drug business,” said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Office. “If you put drugs on the streets of Cleveland, we will find you, arrest you and you will go to jail.”

“This joint effort demonstrates that Ohio’s casinos will not be used by drug traffickers to clean their money,” said Troy N. Stemen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. “The laundering of drug money is as important to drug traffickers as the sale of their illegal drugs.  Without these ill-gotten gains, the drug traffickers could not finance their organizations.”

“The Ohio Casino Control Commission takes our mission to ensure the integrity of casino gaming in Ohio seriously, and appreciates the leadership of the US Attorney’s Office and the IRS in this case,” said Matthew Schuler, Executive Director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission. "We will aggressively continue to hold accountable those who would seek to use Ohio’s casinos as a platform for criminal activity.”

Williams will forfeit10 watches, $1,760 in cash as well as a pistol, ammunition and two loaded magazines.

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert F. Corts following an investigation by the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force, and assistance from the Ohio Casino Control Commission. The NOLETF is a multi-agency task force comprised of investigators from the FBI, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, Cleveland Division of Police, Cleveland Heights Police Department, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Euclid Police Department, Regional Transit Authority Police Department, Strongsville Police Department, Westlake Police Department, and Shaker Heights Police Department. The NOLETF is also one of the initial Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) initiatives. The HIDTA Program supports and helps coordinate numerous Ohio drug task forces in their efforts to eliminate or reduce drug trafficking in Ohio.

Updated March 16, 2015