Archive for Thursday, May 15, 2008

Trio in KCK drug ring sentenced

May 15, 2008

— Three defendants who were part of a drug conspiracy that distributed hundreds of pounds of cocaine in Kansas City, Kan., were sentenced Monday to federal prison.

Tina Johnson, 37, Overland Park, was sentenced to 84 months; Andre Riggans, 32, Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced to 63 months; and Marcus Vaughn, 34, Topeka, was sentenced to 120 months.

"More than 330 pounds of cocaine was distributed by the members of this drug ring," said U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren.

Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering, and Riggans pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute - and possess with intent to distribute - controlled substances.

In their pleas, they admitted they took part in a drug trafficking conspiracy headed by co-defendant Savino Davila that operated from 2000 through 2006 in Kansas City, Kan.

Johnson said she obtained cocaine and marijuana from Davila. After she sold the drugs, she paid Davila back in cash. She also purchased marijuana for Davila. In addition, on numerous occasions she acted as a courier taking shipments of drugs from Davila to customers in St. Louis. When Johnson was arrested while taking a shipment of drugs to St. Louis and phoned Davila to tell him, investigators intercepted the call.

Johnson also admitted to laundering drug proceeds by depositing a total of $476,165 in four bank accounts between 2003 and 2006. In 2003, she declared an income of $10,000 from her job as a manicurist. She also made a $74,000 down payment on a house.

Riggans admitted he obtained cocaine and marijuana for Davila. He would meet the sources of supply and then store the cocaine at his residence until Savino or his brother, Elverto Davila, picked it up. Riggans also collected and held money on behalf of the drug trafficking organization.

Vaughn was arrested in August 2005 at his Topeka apartment. Investigators had his brother, Terry Vaughn, under surveillance. They followed Terry Vaughn from Kansas City, Kan., to the apartment after monitoring phone calls between Terry Vaughn and Savino Davila. A search of the apartment turned up 260 grams of cocaine, 120 grams of marijuana, ecstasy pills, a handgun and $2,231 cash. Marcus Vaughn told investigators he had been purchasing cocaine from a source in Kansas City for about six months.

The Drug Enforcement Administration's investigation, which began in 2003, determined the traffickers distributed at least 150 kilograms - 330 pounds - of cocaine.

Of the other defendants in the case:

¢ Savino Davila is set for sentencing May 19.

¢ Elverto Davila is set for sentencing May 27.

¢ Toni Baker is set for sentencing May 19.

¢ Jontell Jones is set for sentencing June 9.

¢ Frederick Eskridge is awaiting sentencing.

¢ Damascus Houston was sentenced in February 2008 to 120 months.

¢ Tristan Luster is set for sentencing May 19.

¢ Antonio Bennett is awaiting sentencing.

¢ Terry Vaughn was sentenced in March 2008 to 37 months.

¢ Robert Cole, Jr. is set for sentencing May 27.

¢ Frank Henderson is set for sentencing June 9.

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