U.S. Attorney: Drug bust dismantles ‘major pipeline’ of drugs into Birmingham

Crime

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The U.S. Attorney, FBI, IRS and Jefferson County Sheriff’s office held a press conference announcing the Wednesday arrests of 16 defendants who authorities say were part of a multi-million dollar conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine.

18 law enforcement agencies have been tracking this drug organization for years.

“Beginning at 6 a.m. today, a group of federal and local law enforcement officers dismantled a drug-trafficking operation charged with dumping heroin and cocaine onto the streets of our city. The indictment of 24 individuals for either drug trafficking or laundering drug money represents years of dedicated work by the FBI, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, IRS-CI, and prosecutors in my office,” U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance said in a statement.

The 6 a.m. bust Wednesday morning led police to seize 12 kilos of cocaine and 4 ounces of heroin.

The man accused of leading the organization Patrick Dewayne “Pat” Hall, 37, and his “first lieutenant,” Lovodas Deangelo Blake, 26, were in custody since Aug. 1 on federal charges related to a cocaine seizure. Hall and Blake were arrested after leading police on a high-speed chase through Birmingham, authorities said. They reportedly found the two hiding in the attic of a home.

24 people in total were involved. One person is still missing. 21 of those people are indicted for conspiracy to distribute drugs, including crack cocaine and heroin, others just for money laundering. The agencies involved from the very beginning said this is one of the most significant busts in the city.

According to U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, the conspiracy mainly distributed cocaine within Jefferson County.

“The indictment alleges that they have been operating in this community for at least 3 years so it’s a significant sustained operation, and I think its safe to characterize dismantling this conspiracy as shutting off one of the major pipelines of drugs into north Birmingham,” Vance said.

Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot and Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale announced the charges and arrests at the press conference held today.

“As we all are acutely aware, heroin has returned to our area and has taken lives with a vengeance and without regard to who or where,” Hale said in a statement. “It is the Satan of the drug trade that devastates families in every community. We can’t bring those loved-ones back and we can’t restore what has been lost. We can, however, ensure that these dealers responsible for trafficking this killer drug are shut down and brought to justice. If they believe they can operate unabated, then I hope this sends them the clear message that we are united in this fight and our resolve is unwavering.”

Some of the people allegedly involved in the organization are known in the Birmingham area for their music. According to Vance, two men among those charged are featured performers in the rap group Trap Team Entertainment: 29-year-old Jesstifur Jahalia Ferrari “Leer Jet,” “Leer,” “Jahleer,” “Jet,” Hurst, and 24-year-old David Wayne “Northside Weezy” McDaniel.

Indicted in connection with the drug conspiracy, along with Patrick Hall are Lovodas Deangelo Blake, Jesstifur Jahalia Ferrari Hurst, David McDaniel, Robert Lynn Thomas Jr., Eric Demond Hall, Royce Thermon Johnson, Teddy Tonell Davis, Brandon Dion Lewis, James Marion Robinson III, Rodriqus Tyrone Sturdivant, Deangela Kay McDaniel, Israel Bravo Olasoagar, Lena Kenya Irvine, Gerline Jones, Jesse Tyrone Hurst, Corey Lionel Pitts, Patricia Ann Nelson, Deandre Jadarius Hall, Anthony Dejuan Williams, Justice Martinique Holden, Sonja  Denise Mitchell and Tweety.

Patrick Dewayne Hall, 37, of Birmingham–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, one count of possessing with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine

Lovodas Deangelo Blake, of Birmingham–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, one count of possessing with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and an additional count of distributing cocaine.

Robert Lynn Thomas Jr., 26–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Jesstifur Hurst 29–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

David McDaniel 24–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Candida Arroyo Leimakamae Ocasio 35 of Beaumont, Texas–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Eric Demond Hall, 39, of Birmingham–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Royce Thermon Johnson, 30, of Birmingham–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Teddy Tonell Davis, 33, of Birmingham–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Brandon Dion Lewis, 30, of Birmingham–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

James Marion Robinson III, 45, of Birmingham–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Rodriqus Tyrone Sturdivant, 25, of Birmingham–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Deangela Kay McDaniel, 42, of Birmingham–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Israel Bravo Olasoagar, 37, of Birmingham–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, one count of possessing with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine

Lena Kenya Irvine, 30, of Birmingham

Gerline A. Jones, 70, all of Birmingham;

 Jesse Tyrone Hurst, 58, of Bessemer–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Corey Lionel Pitts, 24, of Bessemer

 Patricia Ann Nelson, 54, of Bessemer;

 Deandre Jadarius Hall, 21, of Hoover,–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Anthony Dejuan Williams, 45, of Pinson–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

 Justice Martinique Holden, 20, of Huntsville–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Sonja Denise Mitchell, 55, of McCalla–conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine 

Defendant known only as as “Tweety.”

McDaniel was supposed to be performing Friday alongside Lil Boosie at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Authorities are still searching for the defendant known as Tweety, who they say is a Houston, Texas supplier.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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