A drug ring took marijuana on commercial flights between Charlotte and San Francisco and used bank accounts to launder the proceeds, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Charlotte.
Members of the ring took at least 47 trips from Charlotte to San Francisco from at least as early as August 2014 through February, according to the complaint filed by Homeland Security Special Agent Glenn MacDonald.
Almost all of the return flights to Charlotte were made the next day, and members of the ring almost always checked in two suitcases for each flight, MacDonald says in the complaint.
A separate bill of indictment charges one of the ring members, Thajuan Brown, with drug trafficking conspiracy. Brown, 41, was in the Mecklenburg County jail Wednesday. Jail records say he is from Jamaica, N.Y.
The bill of indictment accuses Brown of traveling back and forth from Charlotte to San Francisco 22 times from August 2014 to early February as part of the conspiracy. Brown, the indictment says, conspired to possess with intent to distribute at least 100 kilograms of marijuana.
The criminal complaint says law enforcement seized marijuana and/or cash from Brown and five other members of the ring.
Staff Researcher Maria David contributed.