News Release
March 10, 2008
Warren Rivera
Public Information Officer
DEA New Orleans Field Division
Office (504) 840-1070
Cell (504) 701-3690

Federal Grand Jury Charges Fourteen in a
Drug Trafficking and Counterfeiting Ring

MAR 10 -- BIRMINGHAM, AL - An undercover investigation conducted over the course of more than two and a half years has resulted in the unsealing of a forty-eight count indictment filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama.

The indictment charges that COURTNEY DARALL CAMPBELL, 37, LARDREA SHARNELL CAMPBELL, 28, SOLOMON GRADY JOHNSON, 44, LARON CADRELL CAMPBELL, 31, RICKY GUY LEATHERWOOD, 24, and JARED KENYATTA CALHOUN, 43, conspired to possess with the intent to distribute, and distribute, powder cocaine and “crack” cocaine. Also charged with laundering the proceeds of the drug distribution network are SOLOMON GRADY JOHNSON, 44, and SHARON SAXTON JONES, 41.

Federal charges include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution, of powder and “crack” cocaine, as well as conspiracy to pass counterfeit United States currency, among other crimes. Some defendants also face the charge of using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime.

Additionally, three separate indictments arising out of the same investigation have been released today, bringing the total number of individuals charged in the Birmingham area to fourteen. The individuals named in separate indictments are TIMOTHY TERRILL CARPENTER, 36, TOMECO MICHELE BOONE, and FREDERICK JAMES BRYANT, 38. These individuals have been charged with various cocaine trafficking offenses. All four indictments were returned under seal by a federal grand jury last month.

In addition to the drug charges already referenced, the undercover drug investigation revealed that COURTNEY CAMPBELL, along with NIKISHA NYCOL BOYKIN, 29, BORIS VERNARD AGEE, 38, JARED KENYATTA CALHOUN, 43, TIFFANY ONTAE ALLEN, 28, and others, passed, or attempted to pass, over $100,000 in counterfeit money at various retail stores throughout the greater Birmingham, Alabama area. The indictment filed also seeks criminal forfeiture of at least $3,000,000 in U.S. Currency as proceeds of the drug trafficking organization and at least $100,000 for the counterfeiting activities. In addition, the indictment seeks criminal forfeiture of five parcels of real property located in Jefferson and St. Clair Counties. During the course of the investigation, the DEA also seized three vehicles. As the investigation continues, more charges, including asset forfeiture, may be expected.

“The goal of this investigation was to bring the drug-counterfeit ring down, not just individuals. It doesn’t happen in an hour, like on television, but takes persistent law enforcement efforts. Now prosecutors will work to convict these defendants of poisoning our citizens with cocaine and counterfeiting our currency,” stated U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin.

The individuals named above have been arrested and are currently in the process of making initial appearances, including bond and detention hearings. The name of one other individual charged is being withheld pending service of warrants.

The defendants charged in the drug trafficking conspiracy are facing sentences of not less than 10 years and up to life imprisonment. Penalties faced by those charged with counterfeit crimes include sentences of up to 20 years imprisonment. In addition, the fines range from $4,000,000 to $250,000. Each charge additionally carries a term of supervised release to be served after completion of a prison term.

“This case is an example of the positive results that are possible when local, state and federal law enforcement agencies work in partnership to dismantle the most significant criminal groups. The members of this organization were involved in drug trafficking, violent crime, and other illegal activity for more than ten years, and attempts by individual agencies to halt this activity proved unsuccessful,” states Gregory Borland, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for the State of Alabama. “By referring the investigation to the HIDTA Task Force, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office brought to bear the combined resources, experience, and knowledge of the DEA and the seven other agencies in the HIDTA Task Force, as well as the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and the United States Secret Service. As a result, a significant drug trafficking and counterfeiting organization will no longer victimize the good citizens of Jefferson County,” added Borland.

Numerous law enforcement agencies participated in this multi-year Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, which began as an investigation by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Unit. The case was then referred to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force where it was led by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with the United States Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshal Service. The HIDTA Task Force is led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and is comprised of the following additional agencies: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Birmingham Police Department, Bessemer Police Department, Fairfield Police Department, Morris Police Department, Alabama Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.

OCDETF Assistant United States Attorneys Gregory R. Dimler and Joseph P. Montminy are prosecuting the case on behalf of the U.S. Government.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

United States Attorney’s Office Press Releases are also on the Internet visit Karen Naramore, Public Information Contact, 205-244-2015