News Release
July 01, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Prominent Local DJ, Randy Russell, Sentenced to 30 Months Imprisonment for Marijuana Distriubtion Conspiracy and Money Laundering of Drug Proceeds into Justin Cruz Salon

JUL 01 -- Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Randy Russell (also known as DJ Randy), 30, of Burlington (formerly of Bristol), Vermont, was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment by Chief Judge William K. Sessions III for conspiring to distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana and money laundering. In addition, Judge Sessions sentenced Russell to 3 years supervised release to begin at the conclusion of his prison term and ordered Russell to forfeit his interest in the Justin Cruz Salon to the Government.

Russell is the co-owner of Lotus Entertainment, which is a professional DJ service in the Burlington area (Lotus Entertainment was featured in a February 17, 2008 Burlington Free Press article). Russell had previously plead guilty to both conspiracy to distribute marijuana and money laundering. According to court records Russell also distributed multiple ounces of cocaine. The money laundering count involved the United States’ allegation that Russell had invested close to $90,000 of his drug proceeds in the now closed Justin Cruz Salon in Burlington. The Government also alleged that Russell deposited over $100,000 in cash drug proceeds in two different bank accounts in 2006-07.

The Government disputed Russell’s argument that he used much of his drug proceeds to care for his family, including his disabled uncle who resides in Bristol. According to the Government, Russell instead used his drug proceeds to live a high-spending, high-rolling life style that included extensive traveling, nightclubbing, snowboarding and renting a primary residence on Lake Champlain in Colchester and a secondary residence in Stowe.

Michael Ryan, the codefendant in this case who lived with Russell at the Colchester, Vermont residence, also pled guilty to both conspiracy to distribute marijuana and money laundering related to his investment in the Justin Cruz Salon. Ryan’s sentencing is scheduled for August 16, 2010.

This case was investigated by the DEA Drug Task Force in Burlington.