Joint Operation with DPS, USDEA and AGO Leads to Arrest and Conviction
Phoenix, AZ (Monday, March 17, 2014) – Attorney General Tom Horne today announced the conviction of Emilio Jean for his role in a drug trafficking organization based in New York. The organization was believed to be responsible for the transportation of thousands of pounds of marijuana from the Southwest Border area to New York, Ohio and Indiana for more than a decade.
“Illicit drug use is associated with several leading causes of death in the United States, including suicide, homicide, motor-vehicle injury, and violence to sadly, name only a few,” said Attorney General Tom Horne. “My office will continue to work alongside other law enforcement agencies to keep Arizona, and our children, free of drugs.”
In February 2010, members of the Arizona Department of Public Safety and United States Drug Enforcement Agency learned that Jean and another individual had disguised a tractor trailer to look like a vehicle from a large and legitimate commercial shipping company. Physical and electronic surveillance was conducted, and provided evidence that a drug shipment was picked up in Ontario, California. The vehicle was subsequently stopped by DPS officers as it travelled east on Interstate 40 near Flagstaff. Inside the trailer, officers discovered 2,140 pounds of marijuana hidden underneath used tires. Officers also recovered several thousand dollars later determined to be racketeering proceeds.
The investigation revealed that Jean’s group was transporting thousands of pounds of drugs on a monthly basis. Additionally, investigators were able to link Jean to a traffic stop in Missouri in 1999, which led to a seizure of 1,775 pounds of marijuana.
Jean was initially indicted in February 2010 following the investigation, and this month (March 6, 2014), a Coconino County jury found him guilty of four criminal counts to include conspiracy to transport marijuana, conducting an illegal enterprise, money laundering and transportation of marijuana for sale in an amount over the statutory threshold. The jury also found two aggravating factors that will permit the Court to impose an aggravated sentence.
Jean’s sentencing is set in Coconino County Superior Court on April 25, 2014.