Houston Man Handed 20-Year Sentence in Drug/Money Laundering Conspiracy
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 02, 2012|
HOUSTON—Kevin Joseph Gobert, 39, of Houston, has been handed a 20-year sentence for his leadership role in a multi-year drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Gobert was convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering after pleading guilty on April 26, 2010, before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt.
At the sentencing hearing today, Judge Hoyt determined Gobert was a leader in the conspiracy and handed him a 240-month sentence on the drug conspiracy in addition to 240 months on the money laundering conspiracy to be served concurrently. He was further ordered to serve five years on supervised release following completion of his prison term.
Gobert was originally charged along with Jose Arredondo, 27, of Houston; Thierry Harvey, 44, of Riverdale, Georgia; Damian Holmes, 37, of Birmingham, Alabama; Donald Long, 45, of Ellenwood, Georgia; Tommy Smith, 46, of Bossier City, Louisiana; and Ali Rhodes, 46, Kelly Hobson, 50, and Shernotta Walters, 40, all of Atlanta, Georgia.
From January 2003 to February 2010, Gobert operated a cocaine and marijuana organization out of the Houston area and trafficked cocaine and marijuana from Mexico into the United States. Relying on his co-defendants for the success of his enterprise, Gobert would coordinate the delivery of the drugs brought through the Houston area to be subsequently distributed throughout Houston, Atlanta, Birmingham, and other areas.
Gobert would occasionally pick up cocaine and marijuana himself but would also pay individuals to pick up, transport and distribute cocaine and marijuana at his direction. He would also pay his co-defendants to collect, count, and distribute drug proceeds derived from his drug trafficking. To facilitate his drug operation, Gobert rented residences in the Atlanta area to be used as stash houses to store his cocaine, marijuana, and cash. At Gobert’s direction, Harvey and Hopson would deposit drug proceeds, in the form of cash, into a Bank of America bank account in the Atlanta area and have the money transferred into a bank account located in Laredo, Texas, with the intent of promoting Gobert’s drug activities.
During the period of the conspiracy, the organization was responsible for distributing more than 800 kilograms of cocaine and more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
The others charged in relation to this case have all also entered pleas of guilty for their respective roles on the criminal enterprise. Rhodes received a sentence of 120 months, while Hobson and Smith received respective sentences of 63 and 87 months. The remaining defendants are pending sentencing.
This case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, including agents with the FBI and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stuart A. Burns.