Detroit Area Drug Trafficker Sentenced to Six Years in Federal Prison

DETROIT, MI – Marcus Coates, 36-years-old, formerly of Detroit, Michigan, was sentenced on January 27, 2016 to 72 months in federal prison for his role in a money laundering conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.DEA

United States District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow sentenced Coates and ordered that he pay restitution and forfeit $1,917,145. After Coates completes his prison term he will be placed on supervised release for three years.

According to court records, Coates laundered approximately $1.9 million generated from the illegal sale of marijuana. Coates recruited individuals in California to use their bank accounts to launder the proceeds of his drug trade. Coates directed others to deposit the money received from the sale of the drugs into these accounts using bank branches located in Michigan. Coates also knew the deposits would be made in amounts under $10,000 to avoid mandatory reporting requirements. In California, the individuals recruited by Coates would withdraw the deposits from their accounts and, in return, would receive a fee from Coates for the use of their accounts.

“DEA Special Agent in Charge Joseph P. Reagan said “This investigation demonstrates the lengths that drug traffickers will go to in an attempt to conceal their illegal profits. DEA will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice individuals like Mr. Coates, who facilitate the distribution of illegal drugs in our neighborhoods.”

Drug dealers, like any other criminals are motivated by money and their crimes devastate our communities,” said Jarod J. Koopman, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation. “IRS Criminal Investigation’s proficiency is following the money. We will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to provide our financial expertise and strip the profits of these crimes from the drug traffickers.”

“Cutting off the flow of money is an important part of the strategy to disrupt illegal drug trafficking,” McQuade said. “DEA and IRS are experts at tracking money that is generated from narcotics, and they will find individuals and organizations who are engaging in money laundering to conceal the proceeds of their criminal activity.”

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