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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Seven Indicted for Trafficking Cocaine and Marijuana into Minnesota from California and Arizona via Fedex



United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced an indictment charging ANTHONY CURTIS HARRIS, 33, and six others with conspiring to traffic cocaine and marijuana into Minnesota from California and Arizona via FedEx and the United States Postal Service.1 Additionally, some members of the conspiracy were also charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and others with conspiracy to commit money laundering. Six defendants have already made initial appearances in U.S. District Courts in San Diego, Calif., and in St. Paul, and Minneapolis, Minn.

“This case is an excellent example of the power of partnerships and exceptional police work,” said William Martinez, a Saint Paul Police Department assistant chief who oversees major crimes. “Any day we stop a major drug smuggling operation in its tracks is a good day. Thanks to the fine work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and our officers, today is a good day for Saint Paul.”

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge James C. Modzelewski said, “The great success of this investigationis a direct result of the strong partnership between ATF and the St. Paul Police Department. I commend the agents and officers involved in this case for their unwavering tenacity and determination in shutting down this organization that is responsible for some of the illegal drugs andfirearms in the streets of St. Paul.”

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, between December 2012 and April 2, 2015, HARRIS made multiple trips from Minnesota to San Diego, California and Phoenix, Arizona to obtain drugs and arrange for their shipment to Minnesota. HARRIS and other members of the conspiracy distributed drugs and deposited the proceeds from drug sales into bank accounts and onto prepaid debit cards.

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, KEVIN BROWN, TOUSSAINT STARKS, LOPEZ WALTERS, SIMON MASON, DONALD WILLIAMS, and DARION ESTIS each participated in the drug trafficking scheme. The defendants sent, received, and distributed drugs, or laundered money on HARRIS’ behalf. On December 20, 2013, law enforcement intercepted a package containing 24.9 pounds of marijuana which was sent to the FedEx Office in Maplewood, Minn. from a FedEx account used by HARRIS. On June 20, 2014, a package containing approximately one kilogram of cocaine was shipped from a FedEx Office in San Diego, Calif. and was picked up the next day by STARKS at a FedEx Office in Eden Prairie, Minn. Between December 2012 and September 2014, hundreds of packages containing a total of more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana were shipped through the U.S. Postal Service and multiple FedEx accounts linked to HARRIS.

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, during the indicted period, the defendants used multiple bank accounts to promote and conceal the drug trafficking conspiracy. As part of a money laundering scheme, more than $1.2 million dollars in cash was deposited in Minnesota, in bank accounts linked to HARRIS. The deposited funds, which ranged from approximately $2,000 to $9,000 per deposit, were almost immediately withdrawn from the accounts from locations in California.

The indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the St. Paul Police Department, the United States Postal Service Inspections, and the Internal Revenue Service.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amber M. Brennan.

Defendant Information:
ANTHONY CURTIS HARRIS, 33
San Diego, Calif.

Charges::

    Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana and Cocaine, 1 count
    Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, 1 count
    Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, 1 count

KEVIN TERRELL BROWN, 38
Eagan, Minn.

Charges: :

    Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana and Cocaine, 1 count
    Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, 1 count

TOUSSAINT DAVID STARKS, 46
Bloomington, Minn.

Charges::

    Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana and Cocaine, 1 count
    Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, 1 count

LOPEZ MORRIS WALTERS, 33
New Brighton, Minn.

Charges::

    Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana and Cocaine, 1 count

SIMON LEE MASON, 33
St. Paul, Minn.

Charges::

    Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana and Cocaine, 1 count
    Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, 1 count

DONALD BERNARD WILLIAMS, JR., 26
Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

Charges::

    Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana and Cocaine, 1 count

DARION SCOTT ESTIS, 33
Shoreview, Minn.

Charges::

    Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, 1 count

1 The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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