Co-Conspirator Sentenced to Over 14 Years in Prison
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 07, 2011|
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Shannon Williams, 44, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced on November 4, 2011, to 40 years in prison and a $300,000 fine by Senior United States District Judge Lyle E. Strom, in Omaha, for his involvement in a marijuana trafficking conspiracy. He was also sentenced to 20 years for money laundering arising out of the same conduct, with the sentences to be served at the same time. In addition to his prison term, Williams will serve 10 years of supervised release following his release from prison. Beginning at least in the summer of 2006 until December 18, 2009, Shannon Williams directed a conspiracy that arranged for large amounts of marijuana to be transported to Omaha from the Tucson, Arizona area. Judge Strom found that the Williams led conspiracy involved over 7,000 pounds of marijuana. In announcing the sentence, Judge Strom found that Williams was a leader or organizer of the conspiracy. Williams’ closest two associates, Christopher Parrott and Richard Conway, were responsible for finding people to drive loads of marijuana from Arizona to Omaha and other drivers to take money for the marijuana from Omaha to Arizona. Williams determined how much marijuana would be sent to Omaha, how much his distributers would charge for it when they sold it, how much each of the drivers would be paid; every major decision in the enterprise came from him.
Williams was incarcerated in March 2009 for violating his federal supervised release from a prior crack cocaine conviction. While he was in jail, he continued giving directions to his “employees,” via a cellular phone brought in by a government informant. Mr. Williams used money he made from his drug enterprise to buy real estate with the intention of fixing up dilapidated properties and reselling them from a profit. By doing so he hid or laundered his drug proceeds.
This case was the culmination of a 15-month investigation that involved the IRS, FBI, Omaha Police Department, Bellevue Police Department, DEA, and several law enforcement agencies in Arizona.
Williams; Deshawn Hernandez, a former girlfriend; and Sara Jarrett, a driver were all convicted of the drug and money laundering conspiracy charges in April after a 3 ½ week trial. Hernandez was previously sentenced to 170 months and Jarrett received 120 months.