July 31, 2015
Contact: Cori Rizman
Phone Number: (312) 353-7875
Madison Man Sentenced To 18 Years For Heroin Conspiracy
MADISON, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Melvin R. Thomas, 37, Madison, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 18 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Thomas was convicted of these charges on May 20, 2015, after a three-day jury trial in federal court in Madison.
During a two-month long court-authorized wiretap in late 2010, Chicago DEA agents intercepted telephone calls between Thomas and his source - Chicago heroin dealer Domingo Blount. Roughly every two weeks, Thomas would tell Blount the amount of drugs he needed and would estimate the time it would take him to meet with Blount in Chicago. During an intercepted call on September 27, 2010, DEA agents took photographs of Thomas meeting with Blount at a gas station in Chicago. On two other occasions, which correspond with intercepted drug calls, agents saw the defendant’s vehicle in front of Blount’s residence.
On two other occasions during the conspiracy, Thomas ordered women to conceal heroin for him on the way back from Chicago. During one of the trips, Thomas threatened violence to force one of the women to comply with his orders. During the other trip, agents stopped Thomas’ vehicle, and the female passenger turned over 25 grams of heroin which she was concealing for Thomas.
A search of Thomas’ cellular telephone, taken from him at the time of his arrest, revealed numerous customers ordering heroin via text message from him. Lastly, agents reviewed the defendant’s telephone calls on the day of his arrest. During one of the calls, the defendant ordered his mother to get rid of heroin left at his residence.
The defendant’s total drug quantity involved approximately 269 grams of heroin. In addition to the large amount of heroin involved in the conspiracy, Judge Conley reasoned that a substantial sentence was warranted due to the defendant’s four prior drug felonies, his status of being on state parole at the time of the offense, his lack of remorse, and his high risk of recidivism.
Domingo Blount was prosecuted in the Northern District of Illinois, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, and was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.
The charges against Thomas were the result of an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Dane County Narcotics Task Force, the Madison Police Department, and the Dane County Sheriff’s Department. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David J. Reinhard and Elizabeth Altman.
Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites listed below.