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Dallas man who ran north Texas marijuana distribution conspiracy sentenced to 17 1/2 years in federal prison

DALLAS — A Dallas man, who pleaded guilty in July 2013 to his role as a leader of a north Texas marijuana distribution conspiracy, was sentenced Monday to 17 ½ years in federal prison.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

This investigation was conducted by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation; the Dallas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA); the police departments of Desoto, Dallas, Balch Springs, Arlington and Midlothian; Dallas County Sheriff's Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office.

Sylvespa Eugene Adams, aka “Sylvesta Adams, Pa and Paw,” 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay to 210 months in federal prison.

Adams will also be required to forfeit the proceeds of his criminal activity, which includes four houses in Dallas and seven luxury vehicles including a Bentley, Porsche and Mercedes.

Adams and 21 codefendants were charged in the drug conspiracy that was outlined in a federal indictment returned by a grand jury in Dallas in December 2012. More than half of the defendants were in custody following an operation in January 2013.

During the course of this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation, law enforcement executed federal and state search warrants that resulted in seizing about 25 pounds of hydroponic marijuana, more than 600 marijuana plants, 10 vehicles and five firearms. To date, 17 defendants have pleaded guilty to their role in the conspiracy. Fourteen of those defendants were sentenced to federal prison terms ranging from seven months to 180 months. The remaining defendants will be sentenced in the next few months.

Adams admitted that on several occasions during the conspiracy, which began in January 2010, he conspired with others to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. According to plea documents filed, couriers were sent to Tucson, Ariz., to pick up marijuana and transport it back to Dallas in checked suitcases on commercial airlines. Adams admitted the marijuana was stashed at his house and another house on Red Wing Drive in Dallas. One residence on Red Wing Drive was used to grow and harvest marijuana plants that were distributed to customers.

Adams also admitted that during the conspiracy, he used Lions Entertainment L.L.C., Club Copa and various rental properties to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership and control of the drug proceeds by depositing them in a co-defendant's bank account.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Phelesa Guy prosecuted this case; Assistant U.S. Attorney John de la Garza handled the forfeiture.