KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A federal grand jury has convicted two Lawrence men and a California man in a conspiracy that prosecutors said brought $17 million worth of drugs to Kansas.
Los Rovell Dahda and Roosevelt Rico Dahda, 32-year-old twins from Lawrence, and Justin Cherif Pickel, of San Lorenzo, California, were found guilty Wednesday of conspiracy and several other drug charges. The government is seeking a $16.9 million judgment against the three men, The Lawrence Journal-World reported.
The Dahdas and Pickel were among 43 people arrested in Kansas and California and charged in 2012 in a seven-year conspiracy that funneled more than 8,000 pounds of marijuana to Lawrence and the Kansas City area. The larger conspiracy also involved trafficking in cocaine and methamphetamine.
On the conspiracy charge alone, Los Dahda and Pickel face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison; life in prison is a possibility. Because of prior convictions, Roosevelt Dahda faces a minimum of 20 years. Sentencing dates have not been set.
Los Dahda was found not guilty on a charge of continuing a criminal enterprise for committing multiple federal drug crimes while also supervising or organizing at least five co-defendants.
Prosecutors said Pickel set up a marijuana growing operation in his California home and transported the drug to Kansas. Investigators found 38 pounds of marijuana in a false compartment of a fuel tank when Pickel was stopped in Nebraska in April 2012.
The other defendants in the conspiracy case pleaded guilty between 2012 and before the trial for the three men began in April, and 16 testified as part of plea deals. Most of the other defendants are also awaiting sentencing.
The Dahdas have been in federal custody since their June 2012 arrest. Pickel had been free on bond since 2013 until being taken into federal custody Wednesday.