Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Police take down major marijuana-trafficking ring with ties to Jamaica

A big congratulations to our Drug Enforcement Unit, whose investigation, along with that of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, culminated in a jury finding eight drug traffickers guilty last week.

In 2008, the DEA and KCPD Drug Enforcement Unit began a large-scale investigation into the drug trafficking activities of Gladstone McDowell. McDowell was a career narcotics trafficker in the Kansas City metropolitan area. During the investigation, DEA and KCPD identified that the McDowell was part of a large-scale international organization that trafficked large amounts of high-grade marijuana throughout the United States with ties to Jamaica.

After a two-year investigation, 20 people were federally indicted in the U.S. District Court in Kansas for conspiracy to distribute narcotics and money laundering. Of the 20 who were indicted, nine went to trial, and the other 11 pleaded guilty. 

On April 28, 2011, the jury rendered guilty verdicts for 8 of the 9 defendants.

During the two-year investigation, the following evidence and assets were recovered/seized:

-1500 pounds of marijuana
-9 real-estate properties belonging to the drug trafficking organization 
-$170,000 in cash in Kansas City, Mo
-8 vehicles belonging to the drug trafficking organization

Gladstone McDowell, 60,  faces life in federal prison for his involvement in this organization.

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