SAVANNAH, GA. (CW44 News At 10)– The last of four defendants has been sentenced to federal prison in a drug trafficking conspiracy that transported cocaine and cash from coast to coast.
Kevin Chelsea, 39, from Las Vegas, said he was sentenced to 37 months in prison after the US Acting Attorney General for the Southern District of Georgia, David H. Estes, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess Cocaine. US District Judge William T. Moore also ordered Chelsea to serve a three-year probationary sentence following the completion of her prison sentence.
There is no parole in the federal system.
“Kevin Chelsea and his collaborators were foolishly brazen in their effort to use the U.S. Postal Service to ship drugs east to Savannah and then mail cash westward to Los Angeles,” said Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney. “Our vigilant law enforcement partners opened the conspiracy and brought these drug mailers to justice.”
As described in court documents and statements, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service began investigating a series of shipments sent from Los Angeles to Savannah in November 2018. Operating from August 2016 to December 2019, the conspirators used multiple aliases to ship kilos of cocaine to various Savannah addresses controlled by others in the conspiracy, which in turn returned large amounts of cash to the California conspirators.
The conspirators tried to hide drugs and money in boxes containing coloring books, pens, markers and wrapping paper.
Chelsea’s aunt and west coast collaborator, Aderiauna Crystal Shorter, 52, of Long Beach, California, is serving a 114-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to Conspiracy for Possession and Money Laundering Conspiracy to Distribute and Distribute Cocaine. East coast connections Carlton Anderson, 42, of Savannah, and Lisa Williams, 42, of Savannah, were found guilty of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess Cocaine. Anderson is serving 135 months in federal prison, while Williams is serving 96 months in prison.
“The United States Postal Inspection Service is working diligently with its local, state and federal partners to investigate such cases where United States mail is used for illicit narcotics trafficking and related proceeds,” said Superintendent Responsible Joseph Cronin. Miami Division of USPIS. “This case is an excellent example of this teamwork that has resulted in multiple seizures and arrests across the country.”
“Drug traffickers often take extreme measures to hide the poison they sell,” said Special Agent Robert J. Murphy of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “This is an excellent example of the battle the DEA and law enforcement are facing as they try to prevent dangerous drugs from hitting the streets in our communities. As a result of the DEA’s multi-level law enforcement cooperation and subsequent prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Chelsea and the co-conspirators have their well-deserved time in prison. they will pass.”