GRAND RAPIDS, MI – U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, Donald A. Davis, announced today that Asante Parker, 32, of Lansing, Michigan, was sentenced to serve 262 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana and conspiring to launder money. In addition, Parker was ordered to forfeit to the government a home in Munith, Michigan, a substantial amount of jewelry, and automobiles. This sentence was imposed by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Maloney following Parker’s guilty plea to the charges last October.
At the time of his guilty plea, Parker admitted possessing and distributing more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana over a two year period starting in 2008. Parker’s source for the marijuana was in Tucson, Arizona, and Parker admitted that multiple loads of marijuana of varying quantities were driven from Tucson, Arizona, to West Michigan, in delivery vans bearing signs for fake businesses.
Parker and others purchased the marijuana from the Arizona supplier and then re-sold it for substantial profit. Parker admitted that selling drugs was the only source of income he ever had as an adult. He invested his money in a house, jewelry, automobiles, and other assets. Also as part of his plea, Parker admitted to laundering his drug proceeds by soliciting others to take the cash to banks and convert it to cashier’s checks, which he then used to purchase the home in Munith. These actions concealed and disguised the nature, the source, the ownership, and the control of the illegal proceeds gained from selling illegal drugs.
Others in this conspiracy who have plead guilty and been sentenced include: Marcus Suttles, who received 212 months in prison; Ruffin Parker III, who received 210 months in prison; Wallenton Walters, who received 151 months imprisonment, and Shervin Gore, who received 51 months imprisonment. Five other defendants charged in the superseding indictment still await trial; for them the indictment is merely an accusation and they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney B. René Shekmer and Matthew G. Borgula.