Memphis, TN – Letter Carrier Frederick Burton, 52, of Memphis, Tennessee, has been sentenced to five years in prison for his role in a multi-sate conspiracy to use the US Mail to ship illegal drugs.
Ten defendants in a multi-state narcotics trafficking conspiracy were collectively sentenced to more than 590 months in federal prison. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentences today.
According to information presented in court, between August 2014 and June 2015, the defendants conspired with each other to distribute large quantities of oxycodone, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. They utilized the United States Postal Service (USPS) to ship the drugs from Arizona and California to Memphis for distribution.
The defendants and their respective sentences:
• Eddie Caswell aka “Geezy”, 35, of Memphis, Tennessee: 200 months
• Armando Penunuri aka “Migo,” 29, of Los Angeles, California: 120 months
• Taderrio Johnson aka “Pee-Wee”, 29, of Los Angeles, California: 57 months
• Marcus Moore aka “Corry Moore,” 33, of Memphis, Tennessee: 18 months
• Martavious Taylor aka “Snap,” 32, of Memphis, Tennessee: 60 months
• Tavious Jones aka “Threat” and “No Face, No Case,” 23, of Memphis, Tennessee: 57 months
• Brandon Heard, 27, of Memphis, Tennessee: 12 months
• Taquita James, 33, of Memphis, Tennessee: time served
• Brittany Junious aka “Brittany Caswell,” 23, of Memphis, Tennessee: 12 months
• Frederick Burton, 52, of Memphis, Tennessee: 60 months
Law enforcement’s investigation into the criminal organization revealed Caswell was the drug trafficking organization’s leader. He recruited family members for his illicit enterprise, including his wife (James) and nephew (Heard).
Initially, Caswell shipped marijuana from Arizona to Memphis. He then expanded his operation after teaming up with Penunuri and Johnson, who served as sources of supply of methamphetamine and prescription pills in California. In February 2015, agents intercepted a package containing more than four kilograms of meth, which Caswell had shipped from California to Memphis.
Over the course of the conspiracy, one of the defendants, Burton, worked as a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier. In collaboration with Caswell, Burton arranged to have express mail packages containing drugs mailed to addresses on his mail route. In exchange for cash, Burton would divert those packages to members of the drug trafficking organization. Law enforcement investigators captured surveillance on over two dozen instances which showed Burton diverting packages to persons off of his assigned postal route. A conservative estimate revealed that Burton distributed over 800 kilograms of marijuana and oxycodone.
In May 2015, all of the defendants were indicted on a multi-count indictment, which charged them with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute multiple narcotics.
All 10 defendants pleaded guilty to charges within the indictment in February 2016.
In May 2016, they all were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sheryl Lipman to federal imprisonment, excluding Taquita James, who received time served.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Postal Inspector, and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Reagan M. Taylor prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.