September 28, 2021

27 defendants charged in federal, state investigation of drug trafficking organization

DES MOINES, IOWA – Twenty-seven defendants are facing federal criminal charges as part of a joint federal and state investigation of a heroin and fentanyl drug trafficking organization. Most of these defendants were arrested on July 21, 202. Three individuals have yet to be arrested.

These defendants are charged with federal drug offenses in two criminal indictments:

• Malek Shawn Holmes, 21, of Des Moines

• Pierre Fontain Black, 30, of Des Moines

• Deshawn Levell Greer, 29, of Des Moines

• Desmond Lamar Howard, 30, of Des Moines

• Carl Murphy, 52, of Chicago, Illinois

• Earl Otis Clay, III, 29, of Des Moines

• Gregory Izell Spight, 42, of Des Moines

• Michael Byrd, 28, of Chicago, Illinois

• Azim Abdul-Ahad, 22, of Des Moines

• Ronald Harris, 35, of Des Moines

• Derrick Fleming, 27, of Chicago, Illinois

• Patrick Staples, 28, of Chicago, Illinois

• Brandon Reed, 28, of Chicago, Illinois

• Tabaris Brown, 22, of Des Moines

• Dandre Cox, 21, of Des Moines

• Daeante Dewayne Neely, 28, of Des Moines

• Elijah Seymour, 33, of Des Moines

• Felicia Olson, 29, of Des Moines

• Sarah Hume, 39, of Des Moines

• Andrew Price, 29, of Des Moines

• Jason Beaman, 46, of Knoxville

• Jamisha Canada, 44, of Des Moines

• Tonie Canada, 39, of Des Moines

• Rickey’a Dee Jackson, 22, of Des Moines

• Devante Jave Taylor, 26, of Des Moines

• Tyler Robert Wood, 30, of Des Moines

• Zakar Jeffrey, 28, of Des Moines

All defendants arrested on July 21 have or will soon appear in federal court on the charges. The charges stem from a months’ long investigation into heroin and fentanyl distribution within the Des Moines area. The charges carry maximum penalties of up to life imprisonment, with a ten-year mandatory minimum prison term as to Malek Holmes, and five-year mandatory minimum prison terms as to Pierre Black, Deshawn Greer, Carl Murphy, Earl Clay, III, Gregory Spight, Michael Byrd, Azim Abdul-Ahad, Ronald Harris, Derrick Fleming, Patrick Staples, Brandon Reed, Tabaris Brown, Daeante Neely, Felicia Olson, Andrew Price, Jason Beaman, Jamisha Canada, and Tonie Canada. 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. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

The charges were announced by Richard D. Westphal, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Investigating and assisting agencies include: the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force; Central Iowa Gang Task Force; Des Moines Police Department; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; Polk County Sheriff’s Office; Bureau of

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Iowa State Patrol; Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center; Iowa State Patrol SWAT; United States Marshals Service; Central Iowa Drug

Task Force; Drug Enforcement Agency; Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force East; Homeland Security Investigations; Altoona Police Department; Story County Sheriff’s Office; Ames Police Department; Norwalk Police Department; West Des Moines Police Department; Ankeny Police Department; METRO Star; SERT; Iowa 5th Judicial District; Federal Bureau of Investigation Chicago; Federal Bureau of Investigation Kansas City; Federal Bureau of Investigation Minneapolis; Federal Bureau of Investigation Omaha; and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF).

OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.