U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Western District of Kentucky
For Immediate Release
April 24, 2009
Candace G. Hill, Acting United States Attorney
Contact: Dawn Masden
(502) 582-5097 (fax)
Multi-Kilo Cocaine Trafficker Convicted of Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Firearms Charges
39 Kilograms of Cocaine Seized in Kentucky, Texas and Louisiana Conspiracy — Co-Defendant Also Convicted in Conspiracy
LOUISVILLE, KY — On April 22, 2009, A federal jury in Louisville convicted Rickey Calloway, age 34, of Louisville, Kentucky, and Luciana Meadoweal, age 32, of Hopewell, Virginia, on multiple cocaine trafficking charges, Candace G. Hill, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, and Paul Vido, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Louisville Field Division, jointly announced today.
The jury’s verdicts of guilty were returned following a week and a half long trial before Charles R. Simpson, III, Judge, United States District Court.
Both Calloway and Meadoweal were convicted on the principle of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 5 kilograms of Cocaine in the Western District of Kentucky between December 24, 2005 and February 5, 2007. They were each also convicted of attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine and interstate travel in furtherance of the illegal business enterprise of distributing cocaine. Calloway was also convicted of 2 additional cocaine trafficking charges, and a felon in possession of a firearm charge.
Factual background relating to case:
In November 2006, Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Detectives began investigating Calloway and Ronald Jefferies when they observed a 1998 Lincoln Town Car, which both Calloway and Jefferies had been observed driving on different occasions, parked in front of a known “stash house,” located on the south side of Louisville. LMPD Detectives had information that the Lincoln contained a “false compartment” in the trunk and was possibly heading out of town to pick up a load of drugs. Based upon this information, LMPD Detectives were able to obtain a court order permitting them to install a tracking device on the Lincoln so they could monitor it’s movements.
On December 16, 2006, LMPD Detectives were able to observe that the Lincoln had departed Louisville and was heading south towards Houston, Texas, a known drug transshipment city. LMPD Detectives later learned that the Lincoln was being driven by codefendant Meadoweal. On December 17, 2006, LMPD Detectives observed that the Lincoln arrived in Houston, Texas and was staying in the Sugarland area, which is a suburb of Houston. On December 18, 2006, LMPD Officers observed that the Lincoln was on the move and heading east back towards Louisville, Kentucky.
However, instead of making it back to Louisville, the Lincoln was stopped in Louisiana by the St. Martin’s Parrish Sheriff’s Department for a traffic violation. Co-defendant Meadoweal was the driver and sole occupant of the Lincoln. During the stop, Deputies ran a K-9 on the Lincoln and the K-9 positively alerted to the presence of narcotics in the trunk area. A subsequent search of the Lincoln uncovered 9 kilograms of cocaine and $80,000 in U.S. currency hidden in a false compartment of the trunk. Meadoweal was arrested in Louisiana and indicted in Louisville, Kentucky for her involvement with this cocaine trafficking conspiracy.
Soon after the stop, LMPD Detectives learned of the 9 kilogram cocaine seizure and obtained a search warrant for Calloway’s residence located in Louisville, Kentucky. This search warrant was obtained the day following Meadoweal’s stop in Louisiana on December 19, 2006. Upon executing the search warrant, LMPD Detectives located numerous items of evidence connecting Calloway to the 9 kilogram load of cocaine. LMPD Detectives also found 2 firearms located in Calloway’s master bedroom. Calloway was arrested that same night.
Among those items of evidence recovered, were numerous documents referencing Advanced Realty, which was later determined to be a sham company that Calloway and Jefferies had formed in March 2005, to act as a cover for their drug trafficking activities. Further investigation of Advanced Realty revealed that it had been the source of payment for another load vehicle that was seized on June 14, 2006 in Baytown, Texas while transporting a 30 kilogram load of cocaine and 2 firearms. The load vehicle was a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix that had been purchased by Jefferies with a cashier’s check withdrawn from an Advanced Realty bank account. Calloway was listed on financial documents as being the Owner of Advanced Realty.
Approximately 7 weeks later, on February 5, 2007, co-defendant Jefferies was arrested near the stash house on the south side of Louisville, Kentucky for his involvement with this cocaine trafficking conspiracy. Upon being arrested, LMPD Detectives obtained a search warrant for the stash house and found nearly a kilogram of powder cocaine and 26.3 grams of crack cocaine. Additionally, LMPD Detectives found a garbage bag filled with kilogram wrappers of cocaine bricks along with several empty bottles of cutting agents. Also found in the stash house was an industrial sized kilo-press and two scales used to break down the kilogram bricks of cocaine for further distribution. Jefferies had rented the residence for the entire year of 2006.
On April 9, 2009, prior to the beginning of trial, Jefferies pled guilty to the cocaine conspiracy and 2 additional drug trafficking charges involving the stash house. Jefferies is scheduled to be sentenced on July 6, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. before Charles R. Simpson, III, Judge, United States District Court.
Both Meadoweal and Calloway are scheduled to be sentenced on July 17, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. before Charles R. Simpson, III, Judge, United States District Court in Louisville, Kentucky.
The maximum potential penalties are not less than 10 years and not more than life imprisonment, a $4,000,000 fine, and supervised release for not less than 5 years. However, because Calloway has multiple prior drug felony convictions, he is likely facing a mandatory life sentence.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Scott Davis, Daniel P. Kinnicutt, and Robert J. Kilmartin. This investigation was a joint effort conducted by the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Louisville Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This investigation was consistent with ATF’s ongoing commitment to reduce violent crime and other threats to public safety. Other law enforcement agencies participating in this investigation were the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Louisiana St. Martin’s Sheriff’s Department.
This is a Project Backfire prosecution. Project Backfire is a cooperative effort by the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, the Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office, the Louisville Metro Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Attorney’s Office to ensure that firearm offenses are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the state and federal law.