Sunday, October 19, 2014
Brothers behind the largest drug ring in Detroit history, more than $21 million in cash seized
A pair of brothers who went on the run after operating what authorities call the largest drug ring in Detroit history were sentence to life in prison Friday.
Carlos Powell, 39, of Washington Township and Eric Powell, 36, of Franklin Farms, were sent to prison after an extensive DEA investigation found a sprawling drug empire run by 13 people from 2006 to 2010.
The top operators cashed in selling huge quantities of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, often smuggled in hidden compartments on semi-trucks and other vehicles driving cross-country.
The lucrative operation brought them $800,000 in jewelry, boats, and luxury cars from Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls Royce and Mercedes, The Detroit Free Press reports.
One of the top level was even a former Democratic state representative Kenneth Daniels.
Daniels, who helped hide Carlos Powell financially, was sentenced to one year in prison in September.
But the brothers went on the run along with a third defendant, Earnest Proge, when the jury verdict came in.
A national manhunt followed that ended with the three in custody.
The U.S. Attorneys office said the group would send their drug money to Arizona, Mexico, and other states to purchase even more narcotics.
Seized drugs credited to the group amount to more than 12 kilograms of cocaine, 30 kilograms of heroin, and 1,000 pounds of marijuana.
Authorities also seized more than $21 million in cash.
'It's the largest case I've ever seen,' U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy said at the sentencing. 'There's little else to say without being insulting.'
The men, who wores fezzes during the trail, begged for leniency, according to The Detroit News.
'I want to say I did not mean any disrespect to the court, Carlos Powell said, vowing to turn his life around if given a break, and saying he only fled because of fear of a life sentence.
He also asked for leniency so he would not be gone when his three children needed him.
Brother Eric Powell spoke only through his attorney, but also asked for a light sentence.
However, Murphy said he could not help them.
'The problem is, I have less discretion,' he said. 'The choices he's made are abominable.'
As Eric Powell left the courtroom in handcuffs, an unidentified shouted out, 'I love you, Eric.'
'I'll be alright,' he said.