Twenty Sentenced In Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Twenty people indicted in December 2013 have been sentenced in U.S. District Court as of today for participating in a drug trafficking organization in Central Ohio.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Joseph P. Reagan, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs announced the sentences.
The sentences are a result of a year-long investigation into the organization by local, state and federal law enforcement.
The organization was responsible for distributing cocaine, oxycodone, crack cocaine and marijuana in the central Ohio area. Some members of the organization, including some convicted felons, possessed firearms in furtherance of the drug trafficking activities. The group supplied drug distributors with firearms to protect the distributors, the drug supply and proceeds from potential robberies. Firearms were placed in strategic places in various locations to intimidate potential robbers.
According to court documents, members of the group would torture and threaten individuals with serious physical harm who were perceived as owing money or drugs to members of – or individuals who were seen as potential witnesses against – the drug conspiracy.
Some of the defendants would launder their drug trafficking proceeds by exchanging tens of thousands of dollars for casino chips at Hollywood Casino in Columbus.
Jermonte M. Fletcher was also indicted on drug, firearm and money laundering charges in connection with the group. He was fatally injured during a shootout with law enforcement agents in Columbus on January 27, 2015. Fletcher had been facing a statutory mandatory minimum of 115 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Stewart acknowledged the cooperative investigation by the FBI, Columbus Police, Franklin County Sheriff, DEA, ATF, the Ohio Casino Control Commission, and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien’s Office, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys David DeVillers and Kevin Kelley, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jimmy Lowe with Franklin County Prosecutor O’Brien’s Office, who prosecuted the case.