Daily Court Reporter - News Brothers sentenced for roles in Vegas-to-Columbus oxy ring
Brothers sentenced for roles in Vegas-to-Columbus oxy ring
Two Columbus brothers were sentenced in U.S. District Court for their roles in leading a narcotics trafficking conspiracy. Marcus L. Pryor, 38, was sentenced to 140 months in prison and Marquis L. Pryor, 26, was sentenced to 93 months in prison.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Timothy J. Plancon, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Pittsburgh Division, and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the sentence handed down today by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson.
According to court documents, the two brothers had been diverting oxycodone pills from the Las Vegas area to Columbus since at least 2012. Law enforcement officials seized numerous U.S. mail packages containing thousands of oxycodone pills and large amounts of cash being sent between Las Vegas and Columbus in connection with this drug trafficking organization.
Agents made additional seizures connected to the defendants at airports and during traffic stops. For example, law enforcement seized 771 pills from Marquis Pryor in June 2016 and a mail parcel addressed to Marquis Pryor containing more than $17,000 in drug proceeds in June 2015.
Airline records show Marcus Pryor traveled between Las Vegas and Columbus no less than 30 times between 2012 and 2017. Similarly, Marquis Pryor took at least 20 flights between the two cities.
The co-conspirators also engaged in financial transactions – making use of wire transfers, bank accounts, and prepaid debit cards – involving hundreds of thousands of dollars to conceal the nature and source of their profits and promote the drug trafficking organization’s activities. Money was used to purchase airline tickets, pay for hotel rooms and cover other costs associated with bringing the drugs to Columbus for distribution.
The Pryor brothers were indicted by a grand jury in June 2017. In August 2017, each defendant pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
“Marcus and Marquis Pryor orchestrated a significant opioid distribution ring in the Columbus area,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said. “The organization distributed hundreds of thousands of oxycodone pills in our district and laundered in excess of one million dollars. Thanks to cooperative law enforcement efforts from a number of agencies, that operation is now dismantled.”
Marcus and Marquis Pryor also enlisted other co-conspirators to further the drug trafficking organization’s goals by, for example, sending and receiving parcels containing Oxycodone pills or drug proceeds and transporting pills or cash on their persons.
In October 2017, Maisha Caples and Michael Griffin were each sentenced for the same drug distribution and money laundering conspiracy crimes as the Pryors. Caples was sentenced to 45 months in prison and Griffin was sentenced to 80 months in prison.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the cooperative investigation by the DEA, IRS Criminal Investigation, USPIS and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Brian J. Martinez, who is representing the United States in this case.
About the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio
Our mission is to protect and serve the citizens of the Southern District of Ohio through the ethical, vigorous and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States, and in so doing to defend the national security, improve the safety and quality of life in our communities, protect the public funds and financial assets of the United States, maintain a courteous and professional working environment, and, with skill and integrity, seek to do justice in every matter
We are the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, one of 94 United States Attorney’s Offices in the country. We are a part of the Department of Justice. Our District is comprised of 48 counties in the southern half of the state.
We represent the interests of the United States, both criminal and civil, in federal court. It is our responsibility to enforce federal criminal laws. We work to prevent terrorism and promote the nation’s security. We are committed to preventing crime, enforcing federal laws, and representing the rights and interests of the American people. We strive to ensure the fair and efficient administration of justice for all Americans.
We prosecute those individuals and organizations that violate federal criminal statutes. We work with a multitude of federal, state, and local agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Park Service, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, The Ohio Highway Patrol, and multitude of local law enforcement agencies. We prosecute a wide-variety of offenses including domestic and foreign terrorism; child pornography and exploitation; civil rights violations; bank robbery and other violent crimes; firearms offenses; drug trafficking; health care fraud; immigration violations; public corruption; tax evasion; mail, bank and wire fraud; environmental offenses; and identity theft.
We also represent the United States in civil litigation, affirmative and defensive. As such, we sue individuals or entities who have violated federal civil laws. We also defend the interests of the United States when it, or one of its departments, agencies, or employees is sued, and we defend federal programs and agency actions.
We collect monies owed to the United States from forfeiture, restitution, and fines imposed as a part of the judgment in federal cases. We also pursue collection of civil debts owed to the United States, including student, small business, housing, and farm loans. Finally, we represent the interests of federal agencies in bankruptcy court.
Our district covers the bottom half of the state of Ohio.
Our district contains three staffed offices in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton. The Columbus office is the headquarters of our District and is the largest, followed by Cincinnati then Dayton.
The Columbus office handles cases from thirty counties (Athens, Belmont, Coschocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Union, Vinton, Washington).
Date Published: April 26, 2018