DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Ohio

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Steven M. Dettelbach
, United States Attorney
Contact: Mike Tobin

Leader of Group That Planned to Rob Cocaine Stash House Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison

The leader of a group of men who distributed heroin and cocaine and planned to use firearms to rob what they believed to be a drug stash house was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison.

Kali Alexander, 24, of Willoughby Hills, was sentenced to 211 months in federal prison. Rasheam Nichols, 24, of Cleveland, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

A jury convicted Alexander, Nichols, Justin Maxwell, 26, Terrance Chappell, 22, and Kenneth Flowers, 21, all of Cleveland, on all 11 counts earlier this summer.

Maxwell, Chappell and Flowers are scheduled to be sentenced this week. They face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years in prison.

Alexander recruited the other defendants to steal up to nine kilograms of cocaine from a stash house in Cleveland. The group planned to rob the stash house, then Alexander would sell the stolen cocaine and split the profits, according to court documents.

Alexander met with an undercover ATF agent last year and expressed an interest and willingness to commit the robbery. “I promise you, I know what I’m doing, I’m about to holler at my big brother, then we going to orchestrate it from there,” according to court documents.

Alexander, Nichols, Maxwell, Chappell and Flowers met with the ATF undercover on September 3, 2014, and discussed the strategy for the robbery. Then the five men drove to agreed-upon location in anticipation of acquiring a specific vehicle to use during the robbery, at which point they were arrested, according to court documents.

The indictments are the result of “Operation Samson II,” an initiative last summer in which 60 people were indicted and 110 firearms were seized.

“This was a violent crew who had no qualms about using firearms to get drugs and money,” said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach. “Cleveland is safer with these men off the streets.”

"There is no place in our society for those who use firearms for violent, criminal purposes," said Donald Soranno, Special Agent in Charge of ATF's Columbus Field Division. "ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners at every level to bring those individuals to justice."

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly M. Galvin and Paul Flannery. Operation Samson II was a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Cleveland Division of Police, the Ohio Adult Parole Authority, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

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Field Division: Columbus Field Division