Leader Of Detroit Drug Conspiracy Sentenced
DEC 11 -- A 35-year-old West Bloomfield man was sentenced today to 216 months in prison as a result of his guilty plea to charges of narcotics trafficking and money laundering, United States Attorney Stephen J. Murphy announced today.
Mr. Murphy was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Robert Corso, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Special Agent in Charge Maurice Aouate, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Daniel D. Roberts, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Novi Police Chief David Molloy.
Receiving the sentence before U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn was Quasand Daniell Lewis, the principal supervisor of a criminal enterprise involving the distribution of more than 30,000 kilograms of marijuana in Detroit, California, Arizona and elsewhere.
At his April 2006 guilty plea hearing, Lewis admitted that he engaged in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 10,000 kilograms of marijuana. Lewis also pled guilty to money laundering, and admitted that he engaged in financial transactions knowing that the properties involved in those transactions constituted or were traceable to the proceeds of drug trafficking. Lewis admitted that he organized and managed the organization which distributed marijuana here in the Detroit area.
The indictment also charged criminal forfeiture. In his plea agreement, Lewis had agreed to the judicial forfeiture of more than $9.5 million in various assets, including his interest in real properties, motor vehicles, jewelry, bank accounts, and cash. An additional $8.75 million in currency was seized and has already been forfeited from the Quasand Lewis organization, including currency that was seized from a Novi hotel room in March 2004, as well as cash seized in Ohio, Oklahoma, and Michigan. The total forfeiture, to date, from the Quasand Lewis organization exceeds $18.4 million.
“In this case, large scale drug dealing and money laundering for more than a decade subjected our citizens to violence, and our neighborhoods to the devastation associated with narcotics trafficking,” United States Attorney Stephen J. Murphy said. “I salute the dedication and tireless efforts of the entire law enforcement team who worked together to bring down this organization. Their dedication reflects the finest in cooperation and teamwork between federal and local law enforcement agencies. Be forewarned: drug dealers who sell and launder the fruits of their illicit crimes in this district will be taken down and sent to prison for long periods of time.”
IRS Special Agent in Charge Aouate stated that, "Drug dealers, like any other criminals, are motivated by greed. IRS Criminal Investigation's unique role is to follow the money trail left by drug dealers and seize the money supply that feeds their organization. Our intent is to dismantle their financial empire."
Special Agent in Charge Corso stated, “I am extremely pleased with today's announcement because it confirms that Mr. Lewis will be staying in prison for a very long time. With each guilty plea and conviction in this case comes another victory for the people of Detroit."
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Novi Police Department, Michigan State Police, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Oakland County Sheriff’s Department, Detroit Police Department, Dearborn Police Department, Farmington Hills Police Department, West Bloomfield Police Department, Troy Police Department, Sterling Heights Police Department, Warren Police Department, and the Oak Park Police Department participated in this investigation.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Janice Terbush and Rita Foley.