Sylvespa "Paw" Adams: Once Accused of Beating a Kid Over Drug Money, Now Popped for Running a Large Dallas Weed Operation
Agents of nearly a dozen federal and local law enforcement agencies busted a large drug ring this week, arresting a dozen people and seizing 600 marijuana plants and 25 pounds of hydroponic weed.
The sweep -- conducted by Dallas PD, the Dallas County Sheriff's Office, Homeland Security and the IRS, among other agenices -- captured a majority of the 20 people charged last month with conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Court documents unsealed today identify the alleged traccickers, who go by a collection of moderately entertaining aliases: Sylvespa Eugene Adams, 25, is "Paw"; Robin James Criss, 30, is "June Bug"; Kory Lamonte Crayton, 39, is "Mokmu Tave" and "Coon."
The indictment itself is light on specifics, saying only that they had more than 100 kilos of marijuana they planned to sell and that and that two of the alleged dealers -- Paw Adams and Alma Diane Smith -- also laundered money.
As for how exactly this was carried out, the document offers that the "defendants ... arrange[d] for the acquisition of marijuana from both known and unknown sources" and "utilize[d] communication facilities including telephones and cellular telephones to discuss, negotiate and facilitate drug transactions."
Slightly more suggestive is the list of property the feds hope to seize. That includes 11 houses scattered throughout southern Dallas, two vacant storefronts on Riverfront Boulevard, and more than a dozen vehicles. Most of that -- including a Porsche, Bentley, and two Cadillacs -- belongs to Adams, who faces an additional charge of money laundering.
Police have had their suspicions about Adams for a while. In 2005, he was accused of going after a group of elementary school students who had stumbled upon tens of thousands of dollars of his drug money and were giving it away. Rumors of a threatened drive-by shooting at the kids' school prompted hundreds of students to stay home.
Adams was arrested for kidnapping and beating a 12-year-old boy over the lost cash, but he denied the charges and they were later dismissed. ("I'm not no kidnapper," he is reported as saying at the time. "I work.")
The drug charge carries with it a possible 40 year sentence and $5 million fine. For money laundering, the maximum penalty is 20 years and $500,000.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.