Texas Man Sentenced to 11 Years for Cocaine Conspiracy
MADISON, WIS. - Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Gregory Smith, 51, Houston, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 11 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Smith pleaded guilty to this charge on April 17, 2019.
The investigation revealed that Smith was mailing packages containing cocaine from Houston to co-defendant Joseph Harper in Madison. In total, postal records from November 2017 to November 2018 showed 32 packages mailed from Smith to addresses in Wisconsin or Iowa associated with Harper. Based on witness statements and multiple cocaine seizures in the case, agents learned that each of the packages contained between a half kilogram and one kilogram of cocaine.
In addition, postal records from November 2017 to November 2018 showed that 48 packages were mailed from the Madison area by Harper or his associates to addresses associated with the Smith in Houston. Federal agents executed search warrants on five of these packages and identified over $85,000 in cash. Based on communications between Smith and Harper, along with other investigative information, agents learned that each of the 48 packages sent to the Smith contained money to pay for cocaine.
In imposing the sentence, Judge Conley noted that Smith played a critical role in the large-scale interstate conspiracy which involved at least 16 kilograms of cocaine. Judge Conley also noted that Smith has a lengthy criminal history including four prior felony drug trafficking convictions.
A total of 12 individuals have been charged for participating in this cocaine distribution scheme. In addition to Smith, eight other defendants have pleaded guilty. Smith is the first to be sentenced.
The charge against Smith is the result of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation. The investigation was conducted and funded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a multi-agency task force that coordinates long-term narcotics trafficking investigations. The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Wegner.