A Tacoma man and his nephew have been sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to lengthy prison terms for a scheme to smuggle and distribute thousands of pills of oxycodone, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. Dion K. Martin, 54, of Tacoma was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison and three years of supervised release. Morocco T. Martin, 39, of Los Angeles, California, was sentenced to eight years in prison and three years of supervised release. The men were arrested in September 2013 and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in January 2014. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton noted that he hoped the sentences would deter others from this criminal conduct.
“These defendants exploited a horrible addiction that destroys lives and families,” said U.S. Attorney Durkan. “I congratulate the South Sound Gang Task Force for terminating this pipeline of illegal prescription narcotics to our communities.”
According to records filed in the case, Dion Martin distributed thousands of oxycodone pills in the Tacoma area and transferred the drug proceeds to the suppliers in California by depositing payments in accounts in Tacoma, which were later withdrawn in Southern California. The conspirators were careful to keep the cash deposits below limits that would trigger further scrutiny. Morocco Martin shipped pills from California to his uncle in Tacoma, often hidden in stereo speakers. The shipments were sent to various relatives of Dion Martin to try to conceal them from investigators. The men stopped using the mails after some of the shipments were seized. On September 8, 2013, the two men were stopped in a rental car headed from Los Angeles to Tacoma. In the trunk was a stereo speaker packed with 7,500 oxycodone pills. A search of Dion Martin’s Tacoma residence uncovered another 1,000 pills and more than $57,000 in cash.
Morocco Martin supplied the pills to his uncle and arranged for the cash deposits and withdrawals to pay co-conspirators. Dion Martin supplied the pills to others in western Washington.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by the South Sound Gang Task Force with agents and officers from the FBI, Tacoma Police Department, and the Washington State Department of Corrections.