Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment this morning against 42 defendants, including three owners of a hotel, implicated in a broad conspiracy to traffic controlled substances in the Tillman’s Corner area of Mobile.
Identified as the Crossley Hills Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO), prosecutors allege the group distributed heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, Xanax, Odycodone, Opana and Roxicodone. Beginning in 2016, prosecutors claim the heroin sales in particular “have led to numerous overdoses, resulting in hospitalizations and death.”
The indictment identifies the Crossley Hills DTO as “primarily a neighborhood-based street level operation” with a core membership sharing “familial ties, such as through marriage, bith, and shared friendships spanning years.” Core members “were entrusted with access to controlled substances, firearms, and currency earned from drug sales that were stored in houses and trailers under the control of Crossley Hills DTO. The houses and trailers were predominantly located along Crossley Hills Drive and Family Travis Road.”
Prosecutors allege the group used cell phones and social media platforms to communicate with each other and customers, often using coded language, while also spending “thousands of dollars” renting vehicles to pick up drug supplies. Prosecutors identified sources in California and New Orleans, and claimed the group used “several hotels and motels” in Mobile County “as platforms from which to sell controlled substances.”
At times, sellers allegedly physically or sexually assaulted drug users, and prosecutors also tied at least four overdose deaths to the group. In a news conference this morning, U.S. Attorney Richard Moore said the local market for prescription opioids was restricted after several area “pill mill” doctors were prosecuted in recent years, but the void has since been filled with heroin and fentanyl.
“We are appealing to the community to recognize the danger from lethal drugs that are being peddled every day in our district,” he said. “We cannot arrest or prosecute ourselves out a national opioid epidemic … but we are on a mission to dismantle drug distribution organizations now supplying opioids to addicts who depend on them.”
Moore said he could not discuss specific evidence in the case and stressed all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in court, but said the message of the indictment is to encourage the community to recognize signs of drug dependency and abuse, and report suspicious activity to law enforcement.
Kellie Holland, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, revealed the investigation began with a tip from a member of the public who was concerned about what appeared to be prostitution and human trafficking at a local hotel. At The Regency Inn (formerly Rode Way Inn), investigators determined the three owners “had full knowledge of illegal activity and did nothing to stop it,” Holland said.
In the 48-count indictment, five individuals were also charged with firearms violations. The two-year investigation was a joint effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Mobile Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department, Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Baldwin County Drug Task Force and the Saraland Police Department also provided investigative support.
“This joint investigation by all levels of law enforcement shows how prevalent the opioid problem is within our community, and may for the first time directly tie drug dealers to the deaths and overdoses of those in the chains of addiction,” said Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran. If found guilty, some defendants may face a minimum of 20 years in prison.
Meanwhile, Mobile Public Safety Director James Barber reported nearly 30 of the defendants had already been arrested, while the Mobile Police Department is seeking others named in the indictment.
Those charged in the indictment were: Martin Carlton (MC) Melton; Jessie Lee Andrews; Lisa Overby Brokaw; Reginald Irvin Burgess; Melody (Angel) Noel Cleburn; Jimmy Earl Conner, Mortimer (Cuz) Adrian Cottrell; Khadarrin (KD) J. Crayton; Chad (“The Pilot”) Joseph Delevieleuse; Kiairus (“Nephew”) Jamer Diamond; Julisa Natalia Dillard; Sydney Elizabeth Dunn; Marinda Olivia Loetta Heflin; Cornell (CJ) Lemont Houston; Avamae (Ava) Gaynell Jackson; Richard Gaines Krause; Brittany Victoria Lovejoy; Harrison Lavelle Luker; Austin Tyler Mamuscia; Tyler Weston Martin; Fitzalbert (Fitz) Norman McGloshen; Gabrielle Antionette Mims; Jonas (Rip) Miller Moore; Autumn Jean Moorehead; Annetta Gaynell Owens; Adam (“Big Homie”) Joseph Owens; William (“Whip”) Grant Owens; Edwin Jerome (EJ) Owens; Terry (“Solo”) Lamont Owens; Amber Lee Parker; Ed Ray Patterson; Wendy Gale Roberts; Mark Robert Rupprecht; Alex Scott’ Denton Taylor Stanley; Lemont Stevens; Jessica Defloren Tubb; Paresh Patel; Jaikumar Rameshbai Patel and Mitesh Desai.
INDICTMENTCrosley Hill DTO
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