Defendants Indicted On Drug Trafficking,
Washington, DC- The United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Special Agent-in-Charge Laura M. Nagel announced that the federal grand jury for the District of Maryland returned a superseding indictment charging 16 defendants with drug trafficking, money laundering and possession of firearms. The criminal charges are the result of a 2 year long joint investigation by the United States Drug Enforcement, the Prince George's County Police Department, and the United States Attorney's Office, and arise from a 4 year conspiracy by the defendants to distribute powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and phencyclidine (PCP), from at least September 1999 to July 2003.
The following 16 defendants are named in the 15-count superseding indictment:
The superseding indictment alleges that Deone Melvin coordinated the movement of bulk quantities of cocaine from New York to the Maryland-Washington, DC area in vehicles outfitted with hidden compartments. The drug organization' New York based supplier, Franciso Despiau, who is currently a fugitive, is also charged in the superceding indictment. One of Deone Melvin's associates, Stephon Mason, allegedly ran his own distribution organization through which he sold powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and PCP.
Deone Melvin's mother Audrey Melvin, is charged with engaging in a two-year long money laundering scheme from March 2001 to June 2003 in which she is alleged to have purchased vehicles for several of the defendants, including Deone Melvin, Rarnone Jones and Stephon Mason, and then titled the vehicles in her name in order to conceal the true ownership of those vehicles. Melvin's mother is also charged with drug trafficking conspiracy.
Deone Melvin, Romone Jones, Stephon Mason, Antonio Mines, and Dadrian Williams are also charged with firearms violations, including possession of several guns in furtherance of their drug trafficking activities. Deone Melvin, Romone Jones and Stephon are also alleged to have possessed firearms despite their previous convictions for felony offenses.
The superceding indictment also seeks forfeiture of up to $5 million from each named defendant; a number of cars; and other items of value seized from the defendants.
Eleven of the 16 defendants
have been arrested and 5 remain fugitives. Six of the 11 arrested defendants-
Deone Melvin, Ramone Jones, Stephon Mason, Dadrian Williams, Lyle Kent
Wade, and Bennie Wilder have been detained by the court pending their
trials. Anatonio Mines, Shadita Sweeney, Ellis Matthews, and George Norris
are currently subject to electronic monitoring by the court. Audrey Melvin
has been released by the court pending her trial, and is currently subject
to a variety of pretrial release conditions. The trial in this matter
is scheduled for June 8, 2004.
The criminal charges in this indictment are the result of a joint investigation by the DEA, the Prince George's County Police Department, and the United States Attorney's Office.
Special Agent-in-Charge Laura M. Nagel stated that "this organization which distributed drugs throughout our community has suffered a significant blow. This investigation exemplifies what law enforcement agencies can accomplish".