Bay Area Suspects Accused of Cross-Country Cocaine Heist

Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh unsealed an indictment Wednesday that gave details into a cross country cocaine trade that involved several suspect from here in the Bay Area.

The Associated Press reported the indictment charges 22 people in connection with a crime spree that goes back ten years.

The indictment was returned in June but unsealed only Wednesday. 17 of the suspects are from Northern California.

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Investigators told AP the crooks found a way to fly cocaine from California to Pittsburgh bypassing airport security measures in the process.     They did not list the airports, but they did mention a Southwest Airlines flight.  The indictment didn't explain how the suspect did it.

The indictment says 40-year-old Timothy White, of Tracy, was the  primary source of the cocaine. White's address is also listed as San Jose. His current neighbors in Tracy called him the ideal neighbor, adding he was always buying  expensive new cars.

The indictment said White used a number of couriers to transport several pounds of cocaine once he arrived in the Pittsburgh area. Prosecutors said he would travel back to California with the cash he got from selling the drugs.

Another man, 42-year-old Ruben Mitchell, of Stockton apparently lost track of more than 41 pounds of cocaine in a misdirected piece of luggage during a Pittsburgh-bound Southwest Airlines flight last year.  Mitchell was forced to check the bag filled with cocaine after it would not fit in the overhead bin. That could be what initially tipped authorities.

White and Mitchell remain in custody and 15 others have been arrested, though some are free on bond. Five others remain at large.
The three-count indictment, returned on June 15 named the following:

  • Ruben M. Mitchell, 42, of 3220 Grayhouse Lane, Stockton, CA;
  • Tywan Staples, 40, of 631 Hillgirt Circle, Oakland, CA;
  • Timothy White, 40, of 2734 Gilberte Court, Tracy, CA;
  • Kevin M. Alexander, 45, of 647 East 17th Street, Apt. 337, Oakland, CA;
  • Eric A. Barnett, 40, of 149 Montecito Avenue, Apt. 104, Oakland, CA;
  • Errick L. Bradford, 38, of 4802 Macarthur Boulevard, Oakland, CA;
  • Anthony Bursey, 35, of 1910 6th Avenue, Sacramento, CA;
  • Damon L. Collins, 44, of 4520 Fallow Way, Antioch, CA;
  • Kenneth R. Douglas, 62, of 468 Pamela Court, Hayward, CA;
  • Calvin Expose, 65, of 706 63rd Street, Oakland, CA;
  • Dennis Haenze, 55, of 1492 Cathell Road, Pittsburgh, PA;
  • Rashene Hill, 35, of 571 Eisenhower Drive, Frederick, MD.;
  • Rejina Hughey, 38, of 1921 Plum Way, Modesto, CA;
  • Urian R. Jones, 34, of 507 Ferndale Avenue, Duquesne, PA;
  • Earl Lamar, 36, of 1402 Oberlin Street, Pittsburgh, PA;
  • Anthony London, 52, of 280 Sequoyah View Drive, Oakland, CA;
  • Kenneth V. Michael, 42, of 10547 Waterbury Drive, Stockton, CA;
  • Lamonte "Tony" Parker, 55, of 3230 Storer Avenue, Oakland, CA;
  • Herbert Platt, age 41, 1167 Turquoise Drive, Hercules, CA;
  • Roscoe Simpson, a/k/a Malik Mohammed, 36, of 7415 Deerwood Avenue, Oakland, CA;
  • Montel Staples, 41, of 1718 Maine Avenue, West Mifflin, PA;
  • Todd White, 42, of 800 Hillsdale Avenue, Apt. 773, San Jose, CA.

An indictment  is an accusation. A defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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