Suspected Crips gang members plead guilty in cocaine conspiracy
Provided by U.S. Attorney NDTX
LUBBOCK, Texas — Today, Dequan Deshawn Willard, 22, of Lubbock, Texas, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. Willard faces a statutory penalty of not less than five years or more than 40 years in federal prison and a $4 million fine for the conspiracy charge and a statutory penalty of no less than five years and up to life and a $250,000 fine for the firearm charge.
Yesterday, three co-conspirators: William Emmanuel Spence, 27, Jasmine Jamal Spence, 28, and Antonio Deon Ray Montgomery, 21—all brothers—each pleaded guilty before Judge Bryant to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base. All three defendants face a statutory penalty of not less than five years or more than 40 years in federal prison and a $4 million fine.
Judge Bryant ordered presentence reports for each of the defendants with sentencing dates to be set after the completion of those reports.
According to documents filed in the case, the defendants are either confirmed or suspected members of the Crips criminal street gang in Lubbock.
As part of a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office, law enforcement executed a search warrant at a residence on East 1st Place Street in Lubbock on June 16, 2016, where officers had made a controlled purchase from co-defendant Dequan Willard a few days earlier. Willard was present during the search in which officers recovered approximately 40 grams of cocaine base.
In September 2016, officers conducted several controlled purchases of cocaine base from Jasmine and William Spence. On October 4, 2016, officers executed search warrants at four residences in Lubbock related to the investigation.
Antonio Montgomery was arrested at a residence on East Cornell and he directed officers to where the cocaine base was kept in the house and officers recovered approximately 110 grams of cocaine base. Montgomery advised the residence belonged to William Spence. Officers also found items associated with the production and sale of cocaine base as well as a loaded firearm.
William Spence was located at a residence on 40th Street. He had $1,379 in cash on his person and $15,020 in cash in a shoe box in the garage. Officers also located a case matching the firearm found at the East Cornell location.
Officers also searched a location on Knoxville Street in Lubbock known to be the residence of Dequan Willard and William Spence. Dequan Willard was arrested at the residence and a loaded firearm was located in the bed where he had been sleeping. In a shoe box with the name "Tucc"—Willard's street name—written on the side, officers found approximately 427 grams of cocaine. Officers also found another bag in the residence that contained 427 grams of cocaine and also located $8,900 cash in William Spence's bedroom. Inside of a red pickup truck parked at the residence, officers recovered an additional 84 grams of cocaine; Willard had been observed driving this pickup and his mail was found in the truck. Officers also located an additional 997 grams of cocaine in a Chevrolet Impala at the residence. Inside the vehicle, officers located documents belonging to William Spence and photos depicting both William and Jasmine Spence.
Jasmine Spence was arrested at a residence on 69th Street, where officers located approximately 40 grams of cocaine base in a kitchen drawer and an additional eight grams of cocaine base in sock in Jasmine Spence's bedroom. Officers also discovered $7,410 in cash in the residence as well as a loaded handgun.
ICE, HSI, and the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office are conducting the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Long is in charge of the prosecution.