(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – A Jamaican man, who was found with over 40 fake identification cards and several pounds of ganja in multiple apartments, was on Tuesday sentenced to more than 24 years in a United States prison for marijuana trafficking, firearm possession and money laundering offences in Connecticut.
Andrew Davis, 41, of Hamden, Connecticut was sentenced by US District Judge Alvin W Thompson in Hartford to 295 months in jail for the offences.
According to a release from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut on Tuesday, the Jamaican citizen faces immigration proceedings after his prison term.
A jury on December 18, 2018 found Davis guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana; one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana; one count of possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
There was no explanation provided by the US Attorney’s Office regarding the lengthy delay between his conviction and sentence.
Evidence presented during the trial indicated that Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), US Postal Inspection Service and Connecticut State Police began an investigation in 2013 into individuals who were moving large amounts of marijuana from the southwestern part of the country to Connecticut.
During the course of the probe, investigators intercepted four packages, each containing approximately eight kilograms of marijuana from the US mail.
As part of the trick, undercover investigators made multiple controlled purchases of the drug from a member of the trafficking ring.
The release said that Davis was arrested on February 1, 2017, after investigators carried out “court-authorised searches” of a Hamden apartment that he shared with his girlfriend, Shanice Goffe, as well as a storage unit in West Haven that was rented in Goffe’s name.
Searches were also conducted at two Bridgeport apartments that Davis maintained under different aliases.
A search of the Hamden apartment revealed “more than one pound of marijuana, a loaded 9mm handgun, boxes of .45 caliber ammunition, US$62,409 in cash, and numerous false identifications, including a US passport, all of which contained a photo of Davis,” the statement said.
It added: “A search of the storage unit revealed approximately 33 kilograms of marijuana, ammunition and firearm magazines, additional false identifications, and US$350,100 in cash.”
Further, the US Attorney’s Office stated that a search of the Bridgeport apartment rented in the name of “Cordel Freckleton” yielded one firearm, while a search of an apartment rented in the name of “Andrew Carter” revealed “more than 60 pounds of marijuana and two firearms, one of which was stolen”.
During the course of their probe, investigators seized “a 2014 BMW X6, a 2016 Honda Accord, and a 2008 Honda Odyssey, all of which were registered to Goffe and had been purchased with proceeds of the marijuana trafficking enterprise,” the release stated.
Interestingly, Davis, while utilising the name “Steve Williams”, was under investigation for marijuana trafficking in 2008, the US Attorney’s Office indicated.
“In August 2008, Bridgeport Police conducted a search of Davis’ Bridgeport apartment and discovered a fake identification, photos of Davis/Williams, three firearms, extended magazines, ammunition, drug packaging paraphernalia, marijuana packaged for resale, and eight UPS receipts for packages that had not arrived,” the statement said.
The Bridgeport Police, at that time, subsequently seized the UPS packages, which contained a total of more than 75 pounds of marijuana.
However, “Steve Williams”, later identified as Davis, was never located.
Fast forward to Davis’ federal arrest on February 1, 2017, investigators revealed that they seized “more than 40 identification cards with false names, including the names of the addressees of the 2008 Bridgeport packages”.
When presented to US Marshals and asked his name, Davis reportedly said, “Let’s go with Steve Williams.”
Goffe, Davis’ girlfriend, pleaded guilty on November 20, 2017 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
She was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment in February 2018.