Federal judge sentences Charlotte man to nine years in prison for drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy
Defendant used the drug proceeds to buy multiple homes and luxury vehicles
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Chief U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney sentenced today Shi Yun Zhou, 27, of Charlotte, to 108 months in prison and four years of supervised release on drug trafficking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy charges, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, which oversees the Charlotte District Office, and Matthew D. Line, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.
According to filed court documents and court proceedings, beginning in 2015, law enforcement began to investigate a drug trafficking organization responsible for trafficking large quantities of marijuana and other narcotics between California and Charlotte. Court records show that from 2013 to 2018, Zhou was involved in the DTO, and engaged in extensive drug trafficking and money laundering activities. As Zhou previously admitted in court, during the relevant time period, Zhou trafficked more than 770 kilograms of marijuana and 500 grams of cocaine in and around Mecklenburg County, and used the drug proceeds to buy multiple residences and luxury vehicles. On April 3, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant at one of Zhou’s residences, and seized narcotics, three firearms and ammunition, a digital scale and other drug paraphernalia, and $215,106 in cash.
Zhou pleaded guilty in April 2018 to drug trafficking conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his sentence. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the DEA and IRS-CI for their investigation of this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sanjeev Bhasker and Ben Bain-Creed, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.
The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov. Also, follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv.
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