Major Southeast Missouri Drug Trafficking Organization Indicted
"Just Bout Money" Gang Linked to Two Murders
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Nineteen members of a Charleston, Missouri-based drug trafficking organization accused of being the main supplier of methamphetamine and fentanyl to southeast Missouri have been indicted on a felony drug conspiracy charge, U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming announced Friday.
Arrests by federal, state and local law enforcement began Thursday, followed by arraignments in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau.
“As someone who grew up in Charleston, I can tell you that this case perfectly illustrates that drugs are not just a big city problem,” U.S. Attorney Fleming said. “Drugs, and the often-violent criminals who sell them, are a plague on otherwise law-abiding communities, big or small. This drug trafficking organization was the main supplier of methamphetamine and fentanyl in southeast Missouri, as you can see in the court records. I want to reassure the southeast Missouri community that this case is and will remain a priority for my office.”
All 19 defendants face a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances, including Demarcus P. Turner and Jadarius A. McCain.
Motions seeking to have Turner, McCain and three other defendants jailed until trial say that Turner and McCain were leaders of the drug trafficking conspiracy and also led a Charleston gang, “Just Bout Money,” or JBM. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been seized during the investigation, as well as about 65 kilograms of methamphetamine, 3.55 kilograms of cocaine, 653.9 grams of fentanyl, 215 grams of MDMA and 5.85 kilograms of marijuana, the motion says.
The group received drugs in the mail and via couriers who flew or drove to their sources of supply, including Georgia-based co-defendant Damien Davenport, the motion says. Couriers were repeatedly intercepted with dozens of pounds of drugs in suitcases, it says.
The detention motion says JBM members have been linked to shootings in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois, including a Feb. 19, 2022, JBM-hosted party where two people were fatally shot and 14 others injured.
McCain pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday. Turner is currently in state custody facing one felony count of second-degree murder and 15 counts of first-degree assault related to a July 2022 shooting in Sikeston, the motions say.
"Drug trafficking organizations like this one are spider webs of illegal activity with connections across the country," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colin Dickey, lead of Drug Enforcement Administration investigations in Eastern Missouri. "DEA takes particular interest in dismantling and destroying them – from street level dealers and up the chain. It takes the combined efforts of multiple DEA offices and our federal, state and local partners to do this, but the effort is worth it to ensure these illegal drug operations cannot harm communities any longer."
Charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
DEA investigated this case with the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office, the Perry County Sheriff’s Office, the Charleston Department of Public Safety, the Sikeston Department of Public Safety and the Cape Girardeau Police Department.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation.
OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at