20 Indicted in Drug Conspiracy

| March 28, 2013 | 8:58 am
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More than a dozen Blue Springs residents and a Kansas City couple are among 20 people charged in a large drug operation. Prosecutors allege that the defendants conspired to distribute cocaine and PCP between 2007 and March 2013. Drugs and several hundred thousand dollars in cash were recovered during raids.  According to the indictment, undercover officers purchased PCP, cocaine and crack cocaine from several of the defendants.

Press Release from the Office of Missouri’s Western District U.S. Attorney

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced Wednesday that a Blue Springs husband and wife and 13 Kansas City, Mo., residents are among 20 defendants who have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in an $814,000 conspiracy to distribute PCP, cocaine and crack cocaine.

Walter Sorrells, 36, and his wife Bettie Sorrells, 36, both of Blue Springs; Reginald Marchbanks, 31, his brother, Parish Marchbanks, 28, Keith Williams, 39, Joey Frazier, 31, William Chaney, 25, Ronald Washington, 68, John Hicks, 36, Michael Harbin, 27, Jarell Mayberry, 29, Antonio Robertson, 35, Charles Littlejohn, 42, Maurice McCrary, 24 or 25, and Brett Stanley, 40, all of Kansas City, Mo.; Joseph Marshall, 30, of Kansas City, Kan.; Stephon Williams, 29, of Lynwood, Calif.; Vincent Hart, 39, and Arin Lamar Taylor, 31, both of Fontana, Calif.; and Colette Douglas, 36, of Grand Prairie, Texas, were charged in a two-count indictment that was returned under seal by a federal grand jury on March 13, 2013. The indictment was unsealed and made public today upon the arrests and initial court appearances of most of the defendants.

The federal indictment alleges that each of the co-defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of PCP, 500 grams or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine between Jan. 1, 2007 and March 13, 2013.

According to the indictment, at least 10 law enforcement-controlled purchases of PCP, cocaine and crack cocaine were conducted with at least five of the defendants. At least 10 arrests or searches of co-conspirators occurred where PCP, cocaine or crack was recovered, the indictment says, and on multiple occasions during the conspiracy, defendants were found in possession of hundreds or thousands of dollars in cash, with no known legitimate income.

The indictment also alleges that each of the co-defendants participated in a money-laundering conspiracy during that time. They allegedly conducted financial transactions that involved the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking. Cash and other items obtained from drug sales were used to purchase additional drugs for sale, the indictment alleges, and those items were taken in payment of drug debts and exchanged for additional drugs, which promoted the drug-trafficking conspiracy.

The indictment contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require all of the co-defendants to forfeit to the government $814,000, which was received in exchange for the unlawful distribution of PCP, cocaine or crack cocaine. According to the indictment, that is based upon a conservative street price of $200 per ounce of PCP (3,099 ounces distributed), $1,000 per ounce of cocaine (129 ounces distributed) and $1,100 per ounce of crack cocaine (60 ounces distributed).

The forfeiture allegation would also require Reginald Marchbank to forfeit his 2002 BMW and $9,280, which was seized by Kansas City, Mo., police officers following his arrest. Littlejohn would be required to forfeit his 2003 Cadillac, which he used to distribute PCP. Williams would be required to forfeit $4,500 of drug proceeds. Stanley would be required to forfeit his residence, which the indictment says was used extensively during the conspiracy for the distribution and storage of controlled substances.

Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation.

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