Multiple law enforcement agencies shut down an illegal cannabis distribution operation with orders available via FedEx, UPS, and other means of delivery. BYBENJAMIN M. ADAMS
FEBRUARY 6, 2023
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Authorities shut down an illegal distribution operation providing prompt delivery of weed and edibles sent coast to coast via trackable orders from FedEx and UPS. Cannabis and edibles were delivered right to customers’ doorsteps, or in some cases sold through a slot in a door.
The two-dozen defendants arrested in the operation face serious charges, in some cases life imprisonment.
According to a Jan. 31 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of New York, 24 people were arrested in connection with a smuggling operation using FedEx and UPS to mail out cannabis.
Authorities on the receiving end of orders—upstate New York—launched the investigation, and say that the operation has been running for about six years.
“As alleged in the 99-count indictment, between at least 2016 and June 2022,” the statement reads, “Dwight A. Singletary II, aka ‘Nutt’ and ‘Mike Jones,’ McKenzie Merrialice Coles, aka ‘Kenzie,’ and others shipped thousands of kilograms of marijuana from a small shipping store called Fast Pack & Ship in Fresno, California, to locations throughout the United States, including the Capital Region of New York.”
Customers were texted with tracking information and receipts.
The report continued, “The marijuana was shipped in packages delivered by UPS and FedEx, and to enable the recipients to receive the packages, Singletary, Coles, and others text messaged receipts with package tracking information to the recipients. Singletary and Coles are from New York but moved to Fresno and, as alleged, principally operated their marijuana distribution scheme from California.”
Authorities explained that in the New York Capital Region, weed and edibles were taken to “knock spots”—places where cannabis was sold through a slot in a door.
The nicknames of several other higher-ranking ring members were identified: David Singletary; Lawrence Mumphrey; Deandre Caldwell, aka ‘Dilli,’ ‘Dillinger,’ and ‘Dre’; Rosemary Coles; Niara Banks, aka ‘Nie’; Jazell Shuler; Toqwanda Ketchmore, aka ‘Quannie’; Victor Turner; JuneAllyson Osman, aka ‘Juney’; Consanga Harris, aka ‘Sondy’; and LaFay Pearson, aka ‘Lala.’
Multiple law enforcement agencies worked together in tandem to carry out the operation.
The statement was credited to United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division; Chief Daniel DeWolf of the Troy Police Department; and Matthew Scarpino, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The press release explains how proceeds from the sale of cannabis and edibles were allegedly laundered through a variety of means.
Specific minimum and maximum terms of imprisonment on the most serious counts were listed for each defendant.
For the more serious offenses, defendants face up to life imprisonment and minimum 10-year sentences. The youngest defendant, Alyssa June White, is 29 years of age, and the oldest, Rosemary Coles, is 70 years old.
The defendants who have appeared in court have been released with conditions pending trial, but not for Dwight Singletary, David Singletary, and Lawrence Mumphrey—who were ordered to be detained following detention hearings earlier this month before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart.
The report explains that the ATF, DEA, Troy Police Department, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, and HSI are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cyrus P.W. Rieck and Dustin C. Segovia are prosecuting the case.