CHARLOTTE, NC - The leader of a drug trafficking network responsible for transporting more than one ton of marijuana to the Charlotte area and laundering more than $1.7 million in drug proceeds was sentenced Tuesday.
According to Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, Ryan Tucker, 31, of Charlotte, was ordered to serve 292 months in federal prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.
Filed court documents and court proceedings indicate from in or about 2008 to in or about 2014, Tucker used individuals operating as “couriers” to transport well in excess of 2,000 lbs of marijuana from California to the Charlotte area.
Court records show Tucker’s network of drug couriers included Tucker’s father, Frederick Elwood Tucker, a retired SBI narcotics agent, and an unindicted commercial pilot who used a private jet to transport a shipment.
According to court records, in most instances, Tucker’s couriers transported the packaged marijuana in vehicles and commercial freight carriers.
Court documents show Tucker also utilized his and other individuals’ bank accounts to launder more than $1.7 million of the proceeds of his drug trafficking.
In court Tuesday, officials say Tucker’s prison sentence was enhanced, based on other relevant factors, including Tucker’s possession of firearms, his leadership role, his extensive criminal history, and an incident in which he shot and killed a person who was attempting to rob his residence of drugs or drug money.
Ryan Tucker’s father, Frederick Elwood Tucker, 69, of Lead, South Dakota, was previously sentenced to 37 month in prison, and three years of supervised release for his role in the drug conspiracy.
Officials say Ryan Tucker will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation, code-named “All Tuckered Out,” which is being led by HSI, IRS, and CMPD.
The ongoing investigation and prosecution for the government is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.