LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A 45-year-old Chicago man has been sentenced to seven years in a federal prison for drug trafficking violations in East Texas in connection to a 2014 traffic stop in Nacogdoches that resulted in the seizure of about $253,000 in cash and a small amount of marijuana.
Frederick Mitchell pleaded guilty to a criminal complaint from the US District Court that charged him and Henry Bams, his co-conspirator, with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine and engaging in interstate and foreign travel or transportation in aid of a racketeering enterprise.
A federal judge sentenced Mitchell to seven years in federal prison for one of the charges and five years for the other charge. The charges will be served concurrently, or at the same time. After Mitchell serves his prison time, he will have three years of supervised release.
According to a press release from the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Mitchell and Bams were stopped for a traffic violation by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper on US Highway 259 in Nacogdoches County on July 6, 2014.
When the trooper searched their vehicle, he found approximately $253,241 in cash and a small amount of marijuana, according to the press release. The two men were released on bail on July 9, 2014.
Then on July 22, 2014, Arkansas State Police made a traffic stop on Mitchell and Bams on Interstate Highway 30 in Hot Springs County. After the state police officer got consent to search the vehicle, he or she found about 10 kilograms of suspected cocaine in a hidden compartment inside the vehicle. Two bank deposit slips were also found in the vehicle.
On Aug. 1, agents with the Internal Revenue Service and the Drug Enforcement Agency executed a warrant on the bank account and seized $135,015.14 in suspected drug proceeds.
The case against Bams is still pending, according to federal court records.
This case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Texas Department of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Baylor Wortham.