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Judge: Stephanie M. Rose
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa (Polk County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Des Moines
Description: Des Moines, Iowa criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin for his role in a large-scale heroin and fentanyl conspiracy.
Over the course of a 14-month investigation, including the use of wiretaps, law enforcement identified Carl Murphy, age 53, also known as “P” and “C-Note,” as a heroin/fentanyl supplier for numerous street-level dealers in the Des Moines Metro from 2019 through July 2021.
Murphy is a high-ranking member of the Black P Stone Nation, a criminal street gang based in Chicago. Murphy had a large distribution network consisting of lower ranking gang members, which he helped run and control. The street-level dealers traveled to and from Murphy’s Chicago suburb residence to purchase large quantities of heroin/fentanyl for redistribution in Des Moines. While awaiting trial, Murphy threatened individuals he believed to be cooperating against him, intimidated potential witnesses, and orchestrated a violent assault of an individual in his jail housing unit. Murphy was previously convicted of distribution of a controlled substance in the Northern District of Illinois in 2011.
At sentencing, Chief United States District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose found that Murphy was an organizer or leader of the conspiracy; obstructed justice by attempting to influence witnesses, threatening others, and orchestrating an assault; and maintained a residence for drug trafficking. As a result, Murphy was sentenced to 375 months in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
In July 2021, Murphy and others were arrested and charged following the execution of numerous search warrants. Twenty-three co-defendants were sentenced as part of this drug conspiracy including:
• Malek Shawn Holmes, also known as “Chubbs,” 23, was sentenced to 50 months imprisonment;
• Pierre Fontain Black, also known as “Rico,” “Peezy,” and “Pezzo,” 32, was sentenced to 192 months imprisonment;
• Deshawn Levell Greer, also known as “Jack,” 31, was sentenced to 87 months imprisonment;
• Gregory Izell Spight, also known as LoSo, 43, was sentenced to 63 months imprisonment;
• Earl Clay, III, also known as “BD,” 30, was sentenced to 87 months imprisonment;
• Michael Byrd, also known as “Big Mike,” 30, was sentenced to 63 months imprisonment;
• Azim Abdul-Ahad, also known as “Tana,” 24, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment;
• Ronald Harris, 37, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment;
• Daeante Dewayne Neely, also known as “Black,” 30, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment;
• Derrick Fleming, also known as “Flock,” 29, was sentenced to 70 months imprisonment;
• Dandre Cox, also known as “Dusky,” 22, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment;
• Patrick Staples, 30, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment;
• Tabaris Brown, also known as “TB,” 24, was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment;
• Brandon Reed, also known as “J,” 33, was sentenced to 12 months and 1-day imprisonment;
• Jason Beaman, 48, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment;
• Elijah Seymour, also known as “Big Josh,” 34, was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment;
• Felicia Olson, 31, was sentenced to 12 months and 1-day imprisonment;
• Sarah Hume, 40, was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment;
• Andrew Price, 31, was sentenced to 3 years supervised release;
• Jamisha Canada, 45, was sentenced to 5 years supervised release;
• Tonie Canada, 40, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment;
• Rickey’a Dee Jackon, also known as “Kia,” 23, was sentenced to 3 years probation.
There is no parole in the federal system.
“Let there be no doubt as to law enforcement’s continued resolve to prosecute Carl Murphy and any individuals, groups, and gangs who believe they can distribute deadly drugs such as heroin and fentanyl in our community,” United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa said. “This significant sentence is an example of the fate that awaits them. Our thanks to the tireless effort of the officers and agents involved in this complex investigation.”
The investigation was conducted by the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force (MINE) and the Central Iowa Gang Task Force (CIGTF), with assistance from the: Des Moines Police Department; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; Polk County Sheriff’s Office; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Iowa State Patrol; Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center; Iowa State Patrol SWAT; United States Marshals Service; Central Iowa Drug Task Force; Drug Enforcement Agency; Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force East; Homeland Security Investigations; Altoona Police Department; Story County Sheriff’s Office; Ames Police Department; Norwalk Police Department; West Des Moines Police Department; Ankeny Police Department; METRO Star; Suburban Emergency Response Team (SERT); Iowa Fifth Judicial District; Federal Bureau of Investigation Chicago; Federal Bureau of Investigation Kansas City; Federal Bureau of Investigation Minneapolis; Federal Bureau of Investigation Omaha; and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). Assistant United States Attorneys Mallory Weiser and Amy Jennings prosecuted the case with the assistance of Victim Witness Specialist Charlotte Kovacs.
This investigation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 375 months in prison.