22 indicted after Phoenix-area takedown following HSI, multiagency probe
PHOENIX – Twenty-two men are in custody following the return of a 70-count indictment by a federal grand jury for their involvement with hard narcotics following a multiagency investigation including; Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), FBI, Phoenix Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and United States Marshals Service. Those indicted are:
- Alfred Wayne Wesley, 61, of Phoenix
- Christopher Duane Guy, 30, of Phoenix
- Christopher Marcus Mitchell, 35, of Goodyear
- David Andrew Connelly, 59, of Phoenix
- Donald Eugene Reed, 60, of Phoenix
- Edward Jewel Norwood, 28, of Phoenix
- James Donald Estell, 41, of Phoenix
- Jesus Salazar, 24, of Avondale
- Joseph Kizzee, 36, of Phoenix
- Joshua Jordaun Jackson, 31, of Buckeye
- Lancer Edward Williams Jr., 36, of Phoenix
- Lequisha Shantai Jack, 36, of Phoenix
- Marcus Wayne Wesley, 35, of Phoenix
- Michael Dewanz Gibson, 26, of Florence
- Philip Nathaneal Austin, 42, of Phoenix
- Quincy Lamar Davis, 38, of Phoenix
- Rayvontae Virshon Hampton, 28, of Phoenix
- Terry Lee King, Sr., 62, of Phoenix
- Terry Lee King II, 40, of Phoenix
- Tyrell Ann Gray, 53, of Phoenix
Each of the above individuals was charged with either conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, or both. Several of the defendants are also charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Furthermore, Marcus Wesley, Hampton, Williams, Austin, Davis, Guy, Estell, and King Sr. are charged with being felons in possession of a firearm. Finally, Hampton, Wesley, and Gray face additional charges for carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and Hampton faces additional charges for transferring or possessing a machinegun.
According to the criminal complaints filed last week, in January 2020, AZDPS began an investigation targeting a drug and firearms supplier in South Phoenix. In February 2021, in conjunction with the AZDPS investigation, the FBI Violent Street Gang Task Force began investigating the Lindo Park Crips (LPC), a criminal street gang operating in South Phoenix. The investigation targeted numerous LPC members and associates, as well as their drug suppliers. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers seized over 2,430 grams of cocaine, 35,000 counterfeit M30 pills suspected to contain fentanyl, 26 grams of methamphetamine, 4.5 grams of crack cocaine, 32 doses of MDMA, eight Glock Conversion devices, and 17 firearms. In connection with the investigation, the FBI also executed over a dozen search warrants on June 23, leading to the additional seizure of ammunition, narcotics, and 62 firearms.
A conviction for conspiracy to distribute or possessing with intent to sell the amounts of cocaine charged carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine. A conviction for conspiracy to distribute or possessing with intent to sell the amounts of fentanyl charged in the complaint carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $10,000,000 fine. A conviction for illegally possessing a firearm carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A conviction for carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a mandatory penalty of five years imprisonment, and a conviction for transferring or possessing a machinegun carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Phoenix, is handling the prosecution.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.
Lean more about HSI’s commitment to combat narcotics in Arizona at @HSIPhoenix.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.