Twenty-Four Member Crystal Methamphetamine Distribution Operation Totally Dismantled
The final four traffickers were convicted by a jury after ten days of trial.
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that a 24-member drug trafficking operation has been totally dismantled, following a federal jury’s conviction of the final four defendants yesterday. Darrell Lee-Lamont Summers II, 28, Daryl Kevin Cannon, 27, Timothy Roy Mason, 39, and Tremain Lamar Braxton, 31, all from Benton Harbor, were convicted of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and related crimes after a ten-day trial before the Honorable Robert J. Jonker, Chief United States District Judge. The men face up to life in prison when they are sentenced next year, and mandatory minimum terms of ten years, except Braxton, who faces a fifteen-year minimum because of a prior drug conviction.
Braxton was arrested in August 2018 during the multijurisdictional takedown of the methamphetamine ring. The other three defendants were added to the case in April 2019. With these last four convictions, all twenty-four defendants have been convicted in the cases charged as a result of the investigation, nineteen by guilty plea and five at trial. Richard Farmer, Sr., was convicted by a jury in May.
The evidence at trial demonstrated that Summers and Cannon brought or sent, in total, hundreds of thousands of dollars to suppliers in California and Arizona, who subsequently shipped hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine back to Michigan through the mail to them and others in the organization, including Raymond Stovall. The cash deliveries and shipments took place between 2016 and 2018. Mason began buying pounds of methamphetamine from Stovall in Kalamazoo and graduated to travelling to Arizona to order methamphetamine directly from a supplier, which he shipped to addresses he controlled in Erie, Pennsylvania. Braxton sold single pounds of methamphetamine for Stovall and drove Stovall and others to drug deals. The organization largely distributed the methamphetamine in southwest Michigan, including in greater Kalamazoo. Law enforcement intercepted three packages during the investigation, which in total contained approximately 14 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, between 96% and 99% pure. At the time of the interceptions, those 14 pounds alone were worth more than $40,000 on the southwest border from which they shipped and nearly $100,000 wholesale in Michigan.
"Crystal methamphetamine has flooded West Michigan," said U.S. Attorney Birge. "Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are acutely aware of the challenge and working together to respond. With this operation dismantled and the suppliers and local dealers removed from the community, we see the effectiveness of our cooperative efforts. But there is much more work to
"DEA and law enforcement partners are working together to safeguard Michigan communities against dangerous and lethal drugs," said Keith Martin, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Division of the DEA. "Organizations whose sole purpose is making a profit by spreading poisons will be dismantled and brought to justice."
"Dismantling drug trafficking organizations like this one is a critical part of the FBI’s mission and is essential to keeping our communities safe from the violence that often accompanies these groups," said Steven M. D’Antuono, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Division. "The combined efforts of the FBI, DEA, SWET, and KVET once again demonstrate the importance of combining the strengths, resources and expertise of federal and local agencies to fight these drug-trafficking networks."
This case was investigated by the FBI, the DEA, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team, and the Southwest Enforcement Team (a component of the Michigan State Police), who were assisted by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Michigan Department of Corrections, the Portage Police Department, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office, and TSA Investigations – Detroit Field Office. The case was tried by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin M. Presant and Jonathan Roth.