DES MOINES, Iowa — Twenty-five defendants are facing federal criminal charges as part of a joint federal and state investigation of a methamphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana drug trafficking organization. Most of these defendants were arrested on November 18, 2020, during the execution of 45 federal search warrants in and around Des Moines. Those warrants resulted in the seizure of 37 firearms, three pounds of cocaine, one ounce of methamphetamine, 18 pounds of marijuana, 1.5 ounces of heroin and approximately $50,000 in cash.
The defendants are charged across three criminal indictments and eight criminal complaints with federal drug or firearms offenses:
- Jerome Valentino Wilson, 32, of Des Moines
- Derek Shantell Thompson, 41, of Des Moines
- Kenee L. Triplett, 39, of Des Moines
- Cory Andrew Turner, 33, of Des Moines
- Coty Arnez Turner, 31, of Des Moines
- Daryl Stephen Jones, Jr., 45, of Des Moines
- Jerome Jamar Hall, 35, of Des Moines
- Ornandes Raeshon Bennett, 41, of Des Moines
- Antoine Moishawn Williams, 49, of Des Moines
- Dewayne Allen Haynes, 40, of Des Moines
- Marcus Antonio-Shay Hall, 25, of Des Moines
- Kenny Eugene Smart, Jr., 47, of Des Moines
- Michael Lindell Teasley, 32, of Des Moines
- Jerron Tandre Johnson, 30, of Des Moines
- Nolan Hamilton-Allen, 32, of Des Moines
- Richard Lee David Brown, 45, of Des Moines
- Anthony Levon Robinson, Jr., 35, of Des Moines
- Leon Dale Edwards, 36, of Des Moines,
- Leroy Williams II, 50, of Des Moines
- Terry Eugene Hambrick, 40, of Des Moines
- Damir Halkic, 32, of Urbandale
- Keiffer Michael Simmons, 28, of Des Moines
- William Lloydellton Speed, Jr., 27, of Des Moines
- Amanda Raye Reed, 40, of Des Moines
- Tyler James Althaus, 34, of Des Moines
Many of the charged defendants, including Jerome Valentino Wilson, Derek Shantell Thompson, Cory Andrew Turner, Coty Arnez Turner, Daryl Stephen Jones, Jr., Jerome Jamar Hall, Ornandes Raeshon Bennett, Michael Lindell Teasley, Kenny Smart, Jr., among others, have prior felony drug convictions. Kenny Smart, Jr., Michael Lindell Teasley, and Jerron Tandre Johnson, each presently charged with possessing a firearm as a felon, have prior convictions for possessing a firearm as a felon. On November 18, 2020, Jerron Tandre Johnson was arrested on charges of attempted murder, filed in the Iowa District Court for Polk County.
United States Attorney Krickbaum stated, “These arrests had a specific target: those accused of carrying guns, slinging drugs, and endangering our community. We look forward to proving these charges in federal court. And we are grateful to our law enforcement partners, who took almost 40 guns and many pounds of drugs off the streets of Des Moines.”
“ATF has no higher priority than investigating violent crime and ensuring that those who use firearms in furtherance of their criminal activities are held accountable. This investigation demonstrates ATF’s commitment and the commitment of our law enforcement partners to ensure that the Des Moines communities remain a safe place to live, work and raise families. Utilizing firearms to injure or intimidate others cannot be tolerated and there is no question that Des Moines is safer today because of the hard work, dedication, and collaboration of all of the agencies that played a part in this investigation,” said James Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Kansas City Field Division.
Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert added, “The size and magnitude of this operation speaks for itself, but the most important aspect is the impact it will have on violent crime and the distribution of illegal drugs in our community. This will absolutely move the needle in terms of restoring the safe environment that our citizens deserve and affirms the commitment to use all available resources to preserve this expectation. This was truly a team effort, and we can’t thank our Local, County, State and Federal partners enough for their unwavering dedication and commitment to ensuring that our most dangerous criminals are held accountable for selfishly and intentionally compromising the safety and security of the wonderful people that call this region ‘home.’ Our commitment to serve extends beyond jurisdictional lines, and our collective efforts will be on- going.”
All defendants arrested on November 18 have or will soon appear in federal or state court on the charges. The charges carry maximum penalties of five years to life imprisonment. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
The charges were announced by Marc Krickbaum, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa; James Ferguson, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Kansas City Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and Dana Wingert, Chief of Police of the Des Moines Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Mikaela Shotwell and MacKenzie Benson Tubbs represent the government.
The public is reminded that charges contain only accusations and are not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Investigating and assisting agencies include: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); Des Moines Police Department (DMPD); Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement (DNE); Iowa State Patrol (ISP); Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force (MINE); Tri-County Task Force; Central Iowa Drug Task Force (CIDTF); Mid-Iowa Drug Task Force (MIDTF); Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI); Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Altoona Police Department; West Des Moines Police Department; Urbandale Police Department; Marshalltown Police Department; Polk County Sheriff’s Office; Dallas County Sheriff’s Office; and Iowa State Fire Marshal. This is an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces investigation.