DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Two brothers convicted of drug trafficking have been sentenced to life in prison, capping an unusual case that included a manhunt when they fled Detroit before the jury’s verdict.
Federal Judge Stephen Murphy III, a former prosecutor, says he hasn’t seen a larger drug case than the one against Eric and Carlos Powell. He said he couldn’t add more comment “without being insulting.”
The government says 39-year-old Carlos Powell and his 36-year-old brother Eric sold marijuana, cocaine and heroin for five years.
Law enforcement seized more than $21 million in cash, $800,000 worth of jewelry, eight pieces of property in Michigan and 10 vehicles, including a Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari and two boats.
“The members of the organization would arrange for large amounts of money derived from the sale of drugs to be transported to Phoenix, Arizona, Mexico and elsewhere for the purpose of purchasing more controlled substances,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a release. “As part of the conspiracy, the members of the organization would use semi-trucks and vehicles equipped with traps and hidden compartments to transport marijuana, cocaine and heroin, as well as cash generated from the sale of these drugs.”
After sitting through trial, the brothers and a third man, Earnest Proge Jr., didn’t appear for the verdict on May 12.
Carlos Powell, at one point, was at the courthouse — but he disappeared before the verdict was returned, Watson said. Eric Powell and Proge had arranged with their lawyers not to be in court.
Carlos Powell was captured the night of June 4 in the St. Louis, Missouri, area and Eric Powell was arrested at the same time near Atlanta, Georgia. At the time of their capture, both men had a large amount of cash, over $750,000, and Carlos Powell had a gun, Watson said.
Proge was arrested June 18 in the St. Louis, Missouri, area. He’s due to be sentenced in December.
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