Kentucky Man Charged with Running Cocaine Distribution Operation

A Hopkinsville, Kentucky, man made an initial appearance in federal court Wednesday after being indicted for drug conspiracy and related charges, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Melvin Dontreele Brown, 30, was arrested Tuesday in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Law enforcement executed search warrants at four different locations there associated with Brown and on multiple bank accounts. Initial items recovered include approximately $100,000 in cash, $164,000 from bank accounts, marijuana, fentanyl, and a firearm.

Brown is charged with one count of drug conspiracy; two counts of laundering of monetary instruments; and 14 counts of use of a communication facility in committing, causing and facilitating the commission of a drug trafficking felony. 

Brown is accused of conspiring with others to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

According to the indictment, Brown and his coconspirators allegedly distributed bulk quantities of cocaine in the Hopkinsville and Tulsa areas from July 2020 to May 2021 .

The cocaine was allegedly imported from Mexico and transported by couriers in vehicles to Oklahoma and to Brown in Kentucky. The conspirators regularly used cellphones and coded phrases to coordinate their drug transactions. Examples of coded language included “ceiling paint” which referenced cocaine and “paper” which referenced currency used as payment for cocaine deliveries.

The conspirators received bulk quantities of currency as payment for cocaine deliveries and conducted financial transactions using banks in the Northern District of Oklahoma and elsewhere. Brown is charged in the indictment with making two financial transactions designed to conceal the nature and origin of the illicit proceeds.

Brown made an initial appearance in the Western District of Kentucky (Paducah) Wednesday and is scheduled for a detention hearing there Friday at 10 am.

The prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas and Louisville Divisions and the Tulsa and Hopkinsville Police Departments are the investigative agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Tonkin is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law

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