An indictment was unsealed today in Kansas City, Kansas, that named 20 people involved in a marijuana-distribution ring that has netted more than $22 million over several years, and like many pot-peddling rackets before it, this one originated in Phoenix.
The indictment is the result of an 18-month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, the United States Post Office, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Kansas City Police Department.
Authorities say the group moved about 2,300 pounds of weed from Phoenix to Kansas City almost every month for nine years.
The 27-page indictment reads like a sequel to the Will Smith action flick Bad Boys, complete with Jamaican bodegas, secret meetings in Florida hotels, and dozens of nicknames like "Blacks," "The Dread," and the far less-cool "Joseph Stephenson Calvin Melrose." Check it out here.
Several of the men involved were arrested in Avondale in 2007 and found to be in possession of hundreds of thousands of dollars and materials believed to be for the packaging and distribution of marijuana.
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After the arrests, one of the men involved, Stephen Blackburn, was brazen enough to fly from Kansas City to Phoenix to ask for the money back, claiming the $223,000 seized was proceeds from his church.
Of the 20 people indicted, six of them are from Phoenix, including 29-year-old Theodore McDowell, the son of the alleged leader of the racket.
McDowell, Dwight Rhone, Sheldon McIntosh, Samora McIntosh, Ibrahima Kane, and Eulet King are in custody in Arizona, awaiting transport to Kansas to face 10 drug-related charges alleged in the indictment.