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West Coast drug supplier sentenced in Charlotte

The supplier of a coast-to-coast marijuana network that operated in Charlotte and other cities for more than two years was sentenced Tuesday to more than 22 years in federal prison.

Milton Earl “Turtle” Adams of Los Angeles received 270 months and five years supervised release when his sentence ends.

Adams, 36, is the latest of almost 60 targets of “Operation Goldilocks” who have been imprisoned or are awaiting sentencing. Five more remain fugitives.

In January, U.S. District Judge Bob Conrad sentenced the purported head of the drug network’s Charlotte operation to 60 years in prison. Parker Antron Coleman was convicted of marijuana trafficking, money laundering and firearms offenses.

The crackdown involved dozens of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, the Department of Homeland Security office in Atlanta, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police as well as police officers from 10 other area law enforcement agencies.

Adams pleaded guilty in December 2012 to drug and money laundering conspiracies.

According to prosecutors, Adams had ties to organized crime groups in Mexico and moved several tons of marijuana from Los Angeles to Charlotte and other areas between 2009 and 2011.

Drug couriers used commercial flights to deliver $50,000 in cash to California. They would return to Charlotte with about 100 pounds of drugs. An employee at Charlotte Douglas International Airport helped get the contraband stored in baggage through security.

In all, federal agents seized more than $1 million of drug proceeds, 600 pounds of marijuana and 13 firearms related to the case.

The other sentences in the crackdown range from 18 years in prison to six months probation.

Gordon: 704-358-5095
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