Federal jury convicts last of 26-member Twin Ports drug ringLate Thursday in federal court, a jury found a 43-year-old man from Detroit guilty of conspiring to distribute controlled substances in the Twin Ports.
Late Thursday in federal court, a jury found a 43-year-old man from Detroit guilty of conspiring to distribute controlled substances, including oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, and heroin in the Twin Ports.
Following a four-day trial, the jury convicted Lawrence Lalonde Colton of one count of conspiracy to distribute the controlled substances listed above as well as three separate counts of distributing or aiding and abetting distribution of oxymorphone.
Colton and 25 co-conspirators were indicted on Sept. 21, 2011. He faces a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison for each count of conviction. Because the federal criminal justice system does not have parole, Colton will spend virtually his entire sentence behind bars. A federal district court judge will impose his actual sentence at a hearing not yet scheduled.
“This is another example of the outstanding partnership with the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. We will continue to focus our investigative efforts on illegal narcotics and firearms trafficking in the Twin Ports,” said Bernard J. Zapor, Special Agent in Charge of the St. Paul Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
“This case will rid us of some long-time habitual offenders as well as help address the growing prescription drug and heroin problem facing our region,” said Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay in a prepared statement.
The evidence presented at Colton’s trial proved that from 2009 through September 2011, he conspired with no fewer than 25 co-conspirators to distribute oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, and heroin in the Twin Ports’ area. The investigation in this case began in 2010, after law enforcement noted an increase in Opana trafficking in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Opana is a prescription pain killer that contains oxymorphone, a controlled substance.