Rufus Daniel ("RD") Curington, Jr., 71, of Vernon, Florida was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Panama City to 15 years in federal prison for his role in a large-scale marijuana trafficking organization, announced United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh, Northern District of Florida.
Curington entered a plea of guilty in July to participating in a marijuana-trafficking conspiracy and to possessing firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking. Curington admitted to the Court that he, and others, had received four to five tons of marijuana from a Mexican drug-trafficking organization since August 2009. Curington and his accomplices operated drug and money stash houses in and around Vernon, Florida, where they stored shipments of marijuana until the marijuana could be transported for further distribution in north and central Florida, and then stored the drug proceeds from the marijuana until the cash could be transported to Texas and subsequently into Mexico.
In addition to storing the marijuana and drug proceeds, Curington and his co-conspirators received some of the marijuana from the shipments, which they distributed in the Bay and Washington County areas.
At the time of his arrest, Curington was holding approximately $156,000 in drug proceeds to be transported to Texas, as well as three firearms that he used to protect his drug activities.
"This investigation dismantled a drug trafficking organization that stretched across state lines with ties to Mexico," said Shane Folden, Deputy Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Tampa, which oversees the agency's Panama City office. "Our communities are now safer because of the work of Homeland Security Investigations and our partner law enforcement agencies. As a result of this investigation, we removed more than 2,700 pounds of drugs and 61 weapons from our streets."
U.S. Attorney Marsh praised the work of the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, who led the investigation, as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Washington County Sheriff's Office, and the Bay County Sheriff's Office. The coordinated participation of all of the agencies led to the conviction and sentence in the case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gayle Littleton.
Information provided by the U.S. Justice Department