INDIANAPOLIS — More than a dozen people were part of a national drug smuggling ring that used semi-trucks and airplanes to distribute marijuana across the country, federal prosecutors say.
They reaped the rewards of the program, raking in millions of dollars buying luxury automobiles, high-performance sports cars, a private jet, and high-end jewelry.
The ring has been active in several states, including Indiana.
As part of the investigation, a federal grand jury has indicted 15 people on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, according to the Justice Department. They are accused of handing out semi-trucks full of marijuana and THC products and laundering most of the cash proceeds.
Adewale Adediran, who has been identified as the ringleader, has also been accused of involvement in an ongoing criminal enterprise.
Four men with Indiana addresses were among the accused, including 51-year-old Stephen Lamar Richardson of Noblesville, 37-year-old Nathan Canary of Indianapolis, 32-year-old Richard Davis of Fishers and 30-year-old Rafael Smith of Fortville.
Law enforcement agencies in Indiana, California and Kentucky are coordinating the investigation and executing search warrants at 23 locations in three states over the past week. Ten of the 15 accused were arrested, five others are considered fugitives.
Federal investigators seized more than a dozen bank accounts as part of the investigation.
According to federal prosecutors, Adediran and the others used “commercial-level logistics” to distribute large quantities of marijuana across the United States, using commercial trucks and airplanes to transport trucks of marijuana to camps in different states. The same trucks and planes, federal prosecutors say, returned with large amounts of cash.
Adediran and his fellow conspirators in California then used cashier’s checks and bank accounts to launder the money.
The list of assets seized is impressive, totaling more than $40 million in illegally acquired drugs, proceeds and assets, according to the DOJ.
- Three tons of marijuana and THC-containing products (worth $10 million)
- A dozen firearms
- Cash and bank account assets totaling $8 million
- A $900,000 private jet
- Luxury cars, including two Rolls-Royces, two Bentleys, a Ford GT and a Lamborghini, valued at $2 million
- Over $8 million worth of high-end jewelry
- $850,000 worth of artwork and collectibles
- Nine properties with a combined value of $10 million
- Adewale Adediran, 36, Orange, CA: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana; continued criminal enterprise, money laundering conspiracy
- Jazmine Adediran, 31, Orange, CA: Marijuana distribution conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy
- Crystal Thomas, 33, Irvine, CA: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
- Hugo Molina, 45, Irvine, CA: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
- Stephen Lamar Richardson, 51, Noblesville, IN: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
- Teoddy Carillo Domingo, 46, Tustin, CA: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to launder money
- Nathan Canary, 37, Indianapolis, IN: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking felony, possession of a firearm as a felon with a criminal record
- Richard Davis, 32, Fishers, IN: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
- Rafael Smith, 30, Fortville, IN: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
- John Carson, 36, Louisville, KY: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
On the whole
- Tayo Muyiwa Olukoya, 53, Irvine, CA: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
- Jeremy Quire, 44, Tampa, FL: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
- Marquis Bruce, 34, Tampa, FL: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
- Mercedes Blackwell, 27, Woodland Hills, CA: Marijuana distribution conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy
- Donnell Cooper, 30, Las Vegas, NV: conspiracy to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to launder money
The defendants face 10 to life in prison plus five years supervised release and a $10,000 fine if convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
Adediran faces 20 years to life plus five years supervised release and a $2 million fine if convicted of running a continuing criminal enterprise.
A money laundering conviction carries a life sentence of 20 years plus three years supervised release and a $500,000 fine.
If the defendants are convicted, a federal district court judge will ultimately determine the penalties.
The investigation involved resources from across the country, including national agencies like the DEA and IRS. Locally, the Brownsburg Police Department, Clarksville Police Department, Southern Indiana Drug Task Force (Jeffersonville Police Dept, New Albany Police Dept, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, and Floyd County Sheriff’s Office), and Hamilton/Boone County Drug Task Force investigated the case in connection with Homeland Security Investigations.
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