Three Sacramento, California individuals were sentenced in federal court this week in the large-scale drug trafficking and money-laundering conspiracy that operated between California and Alaska between the years 2007 to 2012.
In court, United States District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess emphasized the seriousness of the offenses, saying that the defendants, through their distribution of a highly addictive narcotic caused extensive human wreckage.
43-year-old Milan Caprice Thomas, 34-year-old Deandre Tyron Dantzler, and 31-year-old Richard Melvin Corum were sentenced on charges of conspiracy to distribute and for possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone.
Thomas was sentenced to 105 months imprisonment and five years of supervised release on Tuesday. In addition to the oxycodone charges, Thomas also pled guilty in May of 2012 to charges of conspiracy to launder money.
Dantzler was sentenced to 144 months imprisonment and five years supervised release on Tuesday as well. Dantzler pled guilty to those charges in July of 2011.
Corum was sentenced to 120 months in prison and six years of supervised release on Monday. Corum it was convicted at a jury trial on July 1 of last year for the oxycodone charges as well as a count of witness tampering.
According to court filings, all three individuals were high-level members of a drug trafficking conspiracy. They acquired large amounts of oxycodone from suppliers in the lower 48, and initially Thomas and Dantzler carried oxycodone on their person to Juneau aboard a commercial airliner and traveled back to California carrying the proceeds on their person. Later, the two would arrange flights for couriers who would bring the drug did you know to deliver to other members of the conspiracy.
Later, Thomas and Dantzler would use bank accounts and wire companies to transfer the proceeds of their drug smuggling back to California. Eventually, dozens of people would be involved in the procurement, transport, and sale of tens of thousands of oxycodone pills into Juneau area. From those sales Thomas would launder over $1.5 million in proceeds through his bank account as well as through a bank account of another co-conspirator.
Corum joined the conspiracy in early 2011 and was the source of the supply of oxycodone. Corum would later be brought in as an equal member of the conspiracy and he recruited drug couriers to travel to Alaska and also had couriers residing in Juneau and received packages containing oxycodone via package delivery services.
One year later, on March 2, 2012, Corum was arrested for the role he played in the conspiracy. While awaiting trial, Corum would make numerous threats to potential witnesses, saying, quotation mark everyone that is going to testify against me will disappear.” One person who was cooperating with law enforcement and was due to testify at Corum’s trial was assaulted by Corum. He would be convicted in a jury trial on charges resulting from that assault.
“This multimillion dollar enterprise submerged Juneau in a sea of addiction,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes. “The nationwide prescription drug and heroin epidemic is fueled by organizations just like this. The success of this investigation is attributed to the ongoing partnership between DEA and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.”
“Large-scale narcotic trafficking operations infect our communities with crime and destroy the lives of people caught up in using the poison they peddle,” said Kenneth J. Hines, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, in Seattle. “Drug crimes leave a paper trail and I am pleased that the IRS partners with the interdiction efforts of the DEA and local law enforcement to dismantle these organizations.”
It was the efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Port of Seattle Police Department, and the Juneau Police Department – drug Metro unit that led to the arrest and prosecution of the conspiracy.