U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
January 8, 2010
B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney
Jeanne F. Cooney
Director of Community Relations
8 Sentenced For Operating Crack Cocaine Ring in Duluth
Earlier today three defendants appeared in federal court in Duluth to be sentenced for their roles in a crack cocaine distribution ring that operated in the Duluth area between January of
2008 and February of 2009. United States District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle sentenced Earl
David Bowser, age 30, of Chicago, Illinois, to 120 months in prison; Alten Eugene Hall, age 22,
of Harvey, Illinois, to 60 months in prison; and Raymond Vick Bowser, age 25, of Duluth,
Minnesota, to 46 months in prison. Each was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute
in excess of five grams of cocaine base, commonly known as crack cocaine. They were indicted,
along with six co-defendants, on February 19, 2009.
In response to today’s sentences, Bernard J. Zapor, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said,
We are grateful for the law enforcement
partnership that took this organization off the streets. Many agents and officers surrendered time
away from their lives to make the community safer so others could enjoy theirs.
The investigation into this case was dubbed Operation Big Deal II by the officers involved
and is part of an ongoing effort by local, state, and federal law enforcement to stop drug
trafficking in the Duluth area. The original Operation Big Deal resulted in the arrest of two
dozen members of a cocaine and crack cocaine ring that operated in and around that city. Those
arrested in that earlier case ultimately pleaded guilty to various narcotics charges and were
sentenced to federal prison. In the fall of 2008, the leader of that ring, Bernard Vann, was
sentenced to 126 months.
As part of Operation Big Deal II, Judge Kyle yesterday sentenced three defendants on one
count of conspiracy to distribute in excess of 50 grams of crack cocaine. Antione Maurice
Easter, age 34, of Duluth, was sentenced to 120 months in prison; Andre Terrell Harris, age 26,
of Chicago, was sentenced to 60 months in prison; and Antonio Derrick Smith, age 36, of
Minneapolis, was sentenced to 120 months in prison. In addition, Judge Kyle sentenced one
defendant on a single charge of conspiracy to distribute in excess of five grams of crack cocaine.
Michael Clark, age 25, of Chicago, was sentenced to 60 months in prison for that crime.
Finally, on January 4, 2009, Judge Kyle sentenced Damien Lavon Spraggins, age 23, of
Duluth, to 90 months in prison on one count of conspiracy to distribute in excess of 50 grams of
crack cocaine. The ninth defendant in this case, Arkeith C. Mosby, age 20, address unknown, is
being held in Illinois in connection with another crime.
This case was the result of the investigative work of the Duluth Police Department; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Lake Superior Drug and Gang
Task Force. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian S. Wilton.