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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 8, 2019

26 Defendants Convicted In Cocaine-Trafficking Conspiracy

 

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN —United States Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that a federal jury in Kalamazoo, Michigan returned guilty verdicts against four defendants following a nine-day trial: Ryan Rashad Brown, of Wyoming, Douglas Emmanuel Carey III, of Grand Rapids, Marvin Quantez Nix, of Grand Rapids, and Salena Kolarich, also known as Salena Sparr, of Columbus, Ohio. These four defendants are among 26 total defendants who have been convicted for their respective offenses and roles in furtherance of a cocaine-trafficking conspiracy spearheaded by co-defendant Howard Mayfield. Mayfield’s drug-trafficking organization distributed kilograms of cocaine in and around Grand Rapids between April 2017 and May 2018. Mayfield pleaded guilty to the cocaine-trafficking conspiracy on June 20, 2019 and is pending sentencing, currently scheduled for February 3, 2020.

Defendants Ryan Brown, Douglas Carey, and Marvin Nix are among numerous convicted co-defendants who obtained cocaine from Mayfield and re-distributed it to customers in its powder form or as crack cocaine. Defendant Salena Kolarich collected $50,000 cash in drug proceeds from Mayfield and delivered that money to Mayfield’s Houston-based cocaine supplier through wire transfers and by personally transporting approximately $30,000 on a commercial flight to Houston.

In announcing the convictions, U.S. Attorney Birge stated, "Cocaine is a powerful drug that continues to wreak havoc on individual users, their families, and their communities. Cocaine overdose death rates have risen significantly in recent years, particularly in the Midwest, and about 1 in 5 overdose deaths involves cocaine. Along with our law enforcement partners, we take cocaine offenses seriously and are invested in disrupting the channels drug-traffickers use to distribute illegal and dangerous drugs in the Western District of Michigan."

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Detroit Division Special Agent in Charge Keith W. Martin said, "The conviction of Mayfield’s drug-trafficking organization sends a strong unified message that the distribution of cocaine, or any other illicit drug, will not be tolerated. The commitment and relentless efforts of the men and women of the DEA, along with our law enforcement partners, took a tremendous amount of cocaine off of the streets in the communities throughout southwest Michigan. Dismantling cocaine trafficking organizations, and preventing the devastation caused by them, is a top priority to law enforcement. We will tirelessly continue to identify, investigate, and disrupt those involved in such ruthless criminal activity and bring them to justice."

The Metropolitan Enforcement Team (MET) of the Michigan State Police began the investigation into Mayfield’s drug-trafficking organization in early 2017, in partnership with the DEA. The Kentwood Police Department provided key support throughout the case, including by using one of its detectives in an undercover capacity to purchase cocaine and heroin directly from Mayfield. Numerous other law enforcement agencies assisted with operations during the two-month period the DEA had a wiretap on Howard Mayfield’s phones, including the Arkansas State Police and the Vice Unit of the Grand Rapids Police Department.

"This case is an excellent example of the fantastic results that can be achieved when Federal, State, and Local law enforcement pool their resources and personnel to tackle the narcotics problems facing West Michigan. In this case a large Drug Trafficking Organization was effectively dismantled due to these cooperative efforts. The Metropolitan Enforcement Team welcomes any opportunity to leverage resources in the effort to combat dangerous drug dealers adversely affecting our communities," said D/Lt Nathan Grant, commander of MET.

Kentwood Police Chief Richard Roberts likewise is pleased with the collaborative efforts of all of the agencies involved in this case. "Illegal drug use is not only an issue for us in Kentwood, but for all communities across the country. Being a part of this joint effort to combat this problem has been very rewarding. The success of this case also speaks to the professionalism and ability of the men and women of the Kentwood Police Department," said Chief Roberts.

The Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program, which employs the expertise of the DEA and numerous federal agencies to comprehensively target and dismantle drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, supported this multi-agency investigation. During the arrests of the defendants and execution of associated search warrants in this case, federal and state investigators seized over 9 kilograms of cocaine and over $100,000 in drug proceeds.

Defendant

City

Conviction(s)

Sentencing

Howard Anthony Mayfield

Grand Rapids

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (5 kilograms or more) and Crack Cocaine

February 3, 2020

Statutory penalties:

10 years to life

Wilbert Gentry

Houston, TX

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (5 kilograms or more) and Crack Cocaine

November 18, 2019

Statutory penalties:

10 years to life

Craig Schenvinsky James

Muskegon

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (5 kilograms or more) and Crack Cocaine

November 18, 2019

Statutory penalties:

10 years to life

Quincy Delon Lofton

Detroit

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (5 kilograms or more) and Crack Cocaine

January 8, 2020

Statutory Penalties:

5 years to 40 years

Ryan Rashad Brown

Wyoming

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (500 grams or more) and Crack Cocaine

Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (500 grams or more)

Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

March 9, 2020

Statutory Penalties:

5 years to 40 years

Yvette Sheree Brown

Grand Rapids

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (500 grams or more) and Crack Cocaine

December 6, 2019

Statutory Penalties:

5 years to 40 years

Jennifer Tadeo

Grand Rapids

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (5 kilograms or more) and Crack Cocaine

84 months in prison

Donald Bernard Gardner

Grand Rapids

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Crack Cocaine (28 grams or more)

January 21, 2020

Statutory Penalties:

10 years to life

Elsie Bridget Boston

Houston, TX

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (5 kilograms or more) and Crack Cocaine

December 10, 2019

Statutory Penalties:

10 years to life

Martin Luther Dukes

Grand Rapids

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

63 months in prison

Douglas Emmanuel Carey III

Grand Rapids

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (2 counts)

March 9, 2020

Statutory Penalties:

0 years to 20 years

Monica Laster

Grand Rapids

Unlawful use of Communication Facility to Facilitate Drug Felony

January 6, 2020

Statutory Penalties:

0 years to 4 years

Nicole Lynn Starr

St. Johns, MI

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

57 months in prison

Shamekia Liptrot

Grand Rapids

Unlawful use of Communication Facility to Facilitate Drug Felony

January 6, 2020

Statutory Penalties:

0 years to 4 years

Carlus Bridgeforth

Grand Rapids

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (500 grams or more) and Crack Cocaine

46 months in prison

Martinellus Nix

Grand Rapids

Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

February 3, 2020

Statutory Penalties:

0 years to 30 years

Demarcus Pinder

Grand Rapids

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Crack Cocaine (28 grams or more)

144 months in prison

Trebarius McGee

Grand Rapids

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

January 27, 2020

Statutory Penalties:

0 years to 30 years

Pedro Antonio Mateo

Grand Rapids

Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

54 months in prison

Marvin Quantez Nix

Grand Rapids

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

March 16, 2020

Statutory Penalties:

0 years to 30 years

Stephawn McFadden

Grand Rapids

Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

November 18, 2019

Statutory Penalties:

0 years to 30 years

Troy Jordai Lewis

Grand Rapids

Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

December 6, 2019

Statutory Penalties

0 years to 30 years

Jeffrey Allan Dean

Grand Rapids

Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

January 21, 2020

Statutory Penalties:

0 years to 20 years

Jessica Warren née Gatica

Grand Rapids

Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

February 10, 2010

Statutory Penalties:

0 years to 30 years

Taniedra Sade White

Houston, TX

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

33 months in prison

Salena Kolarich, also known as Salena Sparr

Columbus, OH

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (500 grams or more) and Crack Cocaine

Unlawful use of Communication Facility to Facilitate Drug Felony

Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering

March 16, 2020

Statutory Penalties:

5 years to 40 years

One additional defendant, Tamara Nelson, née Mingo, has been charged by Superseding Indictment with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, and the case remains pending. The charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the DEA, the Michigan State Police, the Metropolitan Enforcement Team, the Kentwood Police Department, and the Grand Rapids Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kate Zell and Daniel T. McGraw.

END

Updated November 10, 2019