INDIANAPOLIS – More than a dozen people were part of a national drug-smuggling ring that used semi trucks and airplanes to distribute marijuana across the country, federal prosecutors say.

They reaped the rewards of the scheme by raking in millions of dollars and buying luxury cars, high-performance sports cars, a private jet and high-end jewelry.

The ring was active in several states, including Indiana.

According to the Department of Justice, a federal grand jury indicted 15 people on drug trafficking and money laundering charges as part of the investigation. They’re accused of distributing semi trucks full of marijuana and THC products and laundering the bulk of the cash proceeds.

Adewale Adediran, identified as the ringleader, was also charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.

Four men with Indiana addresses were among those indicted, including 51-year-old Stephen Lamar Richardson of Noblesville, 37-year-old Nathan Canary of Indianapolis, 32-year-old Richard Davis of Fishers, and 30-year-old Rafael Smith of Fortville.

Law enforcement agencies in Indiana, California and Kentucky coordinated the investigation, executing search warrants at 23 sites in three states over the last week. Ten of the 15 defendants have been apprehended, while five others are considered fugitives.

Federal investigators seized more than a dozen bank accounts as part of the investigation.

According to federal prosecutors, Adediran and the others used “commercial-level logistics” to distribute large quantities of marijuana throughout the U.S., utilizing commercial trucking and airplanes to ship tractor-trailer loads of marijuana to warehouses in various states. Those same trucks and airplanes, federal prosecutors said, returned with large amounts of cash.

Adediran and his co-conspirators in California then used cashier’s checks and bank accounts to launder the money.

The list of seized assets is impressive, totaling more than $40 million in ill-gotten drugs, proceeds and assets, according to the DOJ.

Recovered

  • Three tons of marijuana and THC-containing products ($10 million in value)
  • A dozen firearms
  • Cash and bank account assets totaling $8 million
  • A $900,000 private jet value
  • Luxury automobiles, including two Rolls-Royces, two Bentleys, a Ford GT and a Lamborghini, valued at $2 million
  • High-end jewelry valued at over $8 million
  • Artwork and collectibles valued at $850,000
  • Nine pieces of real estate with a total value of $10 million

Captured

  • Adewale Adediran, 36, Orange, CA: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana; continuing criminal enterprise, money laundering conspiracy
  • Jazmine Adediran, 31, Orange, CA: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana, money laundering conspiracy
  • Crystal Thomas, 33, Irvine, CA: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • Hugo Molina, 45, Irvine, CA: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • Stephen Lamar Richardson, 51, Noblesville, IN: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • Teoddy Carillo Domingo, 46, Tustin, CA: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana, money laundering conspiracy
  • Nathan Canary, 37, Indianapolis, IN: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon
  • Richard Davis, 32, Fishers, IN: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • Rafael Smith, 30, Fortville, IN: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • John Carson, 36, Louisville, KY: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana

At large

  • Tayo Muyiwa Olukoya, 53, Irvine, CA: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • Jeremy Quire, 44, Tampa, FL: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • Marquis Bruce, 34, Tampa, FL: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • Mercedes Blackwell, 27, Woodland Hills, CA: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana, money laundering conspiracy
  • Donnell Cooper, 30, Las Vegas, NV: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana, money laundering conspiracy

Possible punishment

The defendants face between 10 years to life in prison plus five years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine if convicted on conspiracy with intent to distribute marijuana.

Adediran faces 20 years to life plus five years of supervised release and a $2 million fine if convicted of running a continuing criminal enterprise.

A conviction on the money laundering charge carries 20 years to life plus three years of supervised release and a $500,000 fine.

A federal district court judge will ultimately determine the sentences if the defendants are convicted.

The investigation involved resources from across the country, including national agencies like the DEA and IRS. Locally, the Brownsburg Police Department, the Clarksville Police Department, the Southern Indiana Drug Task Force (Jeffersonville Police Dept, New Albany Police Dept, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, and Floyd County Sheriff’s Office), and the Hamilton/Boone County Drug Task Force investigated the case in conjunction with Homeland Security Investigations.