Leader Of Interstate Drug Trafficking And Money Laundering Conspiracy Is Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, Chief U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney sentenced Pierre Buissereth, 37, of Indian Land, South Carolina, to 14 years in prison, to be followed by four years of supervised release, for his leadership role in a cross-country drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Buissereth was also ordered to pay a money judgment of $1 million for the value of the marijuana involved in the conspiracy.
U.S. Attorney Murray is joined in making today’s announcement by Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Charlotte, and Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).
According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, beginning as early as August 2014 to February 2015, Buissereth was the leader of a marijuana trafficking conspiracy. Court records show that, during the relevant time period, Buissereth utilized a network of couriers who transported tens of thousands of dollars in luggage via commercial aircraft to San Francisco, California, where they purchased approximately one ton of high-grade marijuana. The couriers then transported the marijuana to Charlotte on commercial flights.
Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized 10 pounds of marijuana from a local drug distributor in November 2014; 46 pounds of marijuana at the Charlotte airport in February 2015; and $96,950 in cash at the San Francisco airport in February 2015. Flight records also show that the couriers made more than 100 trips to San Francisco with quick turnaround flights. In addition, law enforcement determined that the conspiracy laundered more than $460,000 in drug proceeds.
Buissereth is currently in custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
This prosecution is part of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray commended HSI and CMPD for their investigation of this case, and thanked the Pineville Police Department, the Huntersville Police Department, and the York County, South Carolina, Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman coordinated the investigation and prosecution of this OCDETF operation.
Updated September 18, 2019