Three Defendants Enter Guilty Pleas To Money Laundering Conspiracy
St. Thomas, USVI – On July 6, 2016, Tamisha Mc Bean, 32, of St. Thomas, pleaded guilty in federal court on St. Thomas, to conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced. Co-defendants Demincia Dore, 30, of St. Thomas, and Kishma Weeks, 26, of St. Croix, pleaded guilty on June 30, 2016 and July 5, 2016, respectively, to the same charge. Sentencings for all three defendants are scheduled for November 3, 2016.
According to the plea agreements filed with the court, between July 2012 and December 2013, Mc Bean, Weeks and Dore joined a drug trafficking conspiracy whose members shipped barrels containing at least 700 kilograms but less than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana concealed in “Chow Mein” cans from Los Angeles, California to St. Thomas utilizing a trucking service. Weeks and Dore later deposited the proceeds from the marijuana sales into their bank accounts in St. Thomas and subsequently wired the proceeds electronically to members of the conspiracy in the mainland United States. Mc Bean, on the other hand, utilized the bank accounts of Jamila Felix, a member of the conspiracy, to deposit and later wire marijuana proceeds from Felix’s bank accounts. Mc Bean, Weeks and Dore face a maximum sentence of 20 years, and a fine of not more than $500,000, or twice the value of the property involved in their transactions, whichever is greater.
On May 16, 2016, co-defendants Clarence Griffin, Robert Brown pled guilty to drug trafficking conspiracy and Jamila Felix pled guilty to money laundering conspiracy. On April 20, 2016, co-defendant Larry Thompson also pled guilty to misprision of felony.
“To be truly effective in our efforts to stop the illicit distribution of drugs, it is not enough to interrupt their flow. Members of law enforcement must also make drug trafficking unprofitable to criminals such as those involved in this conspiracy,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe. This investigation and the resulting guilty pleas clearly demonstrate that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement colleagues are committed to dismantling the illicit drug trade.”
"The defendants in this case were part of a large-scale drug trafficking conspiracy and engaged in a money laundering conspiracy to conceal the proceeds of the marijuana sales. IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to unraveling financial transactions and money laundering schemes where individuals attempt to conceal the true source of their money. We will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney's Office and other law enforcement partners to enforce the law and follow the money, wherever it leads,” said Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
This case is the result of a joint investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and IRS-CI. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Delia L. Smith.