People will do just about anything to avoid the long arm of the law. You know, a cool police chase, hiding out in a friend's garage, or how about going to Mexico to have full facial reconstructive surgery and a fingerprint removal procedure.
No, this is not the plot of some crappy Nicholas Cage movie, this is what a drug dealer, who was moving drugs from Tucson to Detroit, actually did.
Adarus Mazio Black of Detroit was convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine after he was busted in a multi-state, multi-million-dollar drug-trafficking ring.
Federal prosecutors in Michigan say Black was moving hundreds of pounds of marijuana and cocaine from Tucson to Detroit on giant tour buses until he was busted by federal law enforcement agents in 2007.
Black would put cash and drugs in huge duffel bags, which he would store in the luggage compartments of the buses, while the owner of the bus company, James Washington Jr., would pay up to $2,000 to drivers and people acting as passengers.
Well, dead men tell no secrets. When the operation was busted up in 2007, the feds believe Black put a hit out on Washington and two of the bus drivers. Washington escaped to the safety of federal custody, but the drivers weren't so lucky.
One of Black's henchmen, Vincent Smothers, allegedly murdered the two men, and is awaiting trial.
Meantime, with the feds nipping at his heels, Black, who probably found a Mexican beach to be a little more appealing than a federal prison, flew to Mexico, where he had at least nine surgeries on his face and had his fingerprints removed.
"This is the one of the most elaborate operations I've ever seen," U.S. Assistant Attorney J. Michael Buckley tells the Associated Press of the drug operation. "[Black is] one of the most calculating and cunning individuals I've investigated and prosecuted, and one of the most dangerous."
Black was caught in October 2007, convicted, and is scheduled to face the consequences when he is sentenced in federal court in early November.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.