Feds break up elaborate drug ring in Hampton Roads
Authorities said Williams was dealing cocaine and marijuana throughout the region from Chesapeake and Newport News. An informant said between 2005 and 2006, Williams’ source supplied him with about 2,200 pounds of cocaine, court documents say.
Federal agents say they have disrupted a multimillion-dollar drug ring responsible for distributing a ton of cocaine in the region in one year alone.
The operation was so intricate, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, that drug delivery vehicles were equipped with hidden hydraulic traps where cocaine and marijuana were stashed.
A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted Cedric Montez Williams on three drug and firearms charges. He is the suspected ring leader of the organization.
Williams has been in custody since August and is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment Nov. 18 in U.S. District Court.
Williams initially escaped from DEA agents in Greensboro, N.C., by jumping from the third-floor balcony of a home while holding a black duffel bag with 5 kilos, or 11 pounds, of cocaine, according to a court filing.
Several court filings indicate that Williams has been in the drug trade for 10 years. He was convicted in Newport News in 2000 of a drug offense and sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but one year suspended.
The DEA said agents began investigating Williams in January.
They learned through informants that Williams allegedly was dealing multi-kilo quantities of cocaine and marijuana throughout the region, from points based in Chesapeake and Newport News.
Newport News police, in an unrelated matter, discovered a kilo of cocaine, or 2.2 pounds, and $69,000 in cash at Williams' girlfriend's apartment in that city last December when officers responded to a break-in call.
At the time, the DEA said, Williams fled to Greensboro, where his Mexican drug source lived.
The agents said in court filings that they soon learned that Williams was living a life of luxury, though he had not been employed in years. He drove expensive cars, traveled frequently to New York, Miami and other cities and attended high-profile sports events, such as the NBA All-Star game.
An informant told the DEA that between 2005 and 2006, Williams' drug source supplied him with about 1,000 kilos, or 2,200 pounds, of cocaine, DEA agent Jack Faddis Jr. said in a court affidavit.
On Aug. 24, DEA agents had gathered enough evidence to make an arrest.
In Greensboro, the agents followed Williams from a home to a storage unit, where he retrieved a box, and returned to the home. When the agents stormed the house, Williams jumped from the third floor, dropping the duffel bag before escaping, the DEA said.
He was arrested the next day in Charlotte.
His cousin, Corey Tiquan Williams, who was also charged in the indictment, has not yet been arrested.
By Tim McGlone
November 9, 2009
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