ROMULUS, Mich. - Six people were arrested as part of a scheme that brought more than 13 kilograms of cocaine to Detroit Metro Airport from Phoenix over the Fourth of July weekend, officials said.
A special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration said he received a court order to monitor cellphone communication connected to a scheme involving David Matlock, Kwana Spears, Anthony Carrencjie, Carl Hardwick, Carrie Burks and Nikita Brackett.
The agent said Matlock is also known as "Bennie Campbell," Carrencjie is also known as "Pootie" and Hardwick is also known as "Wick."
Matlock, Spears discuss cocaine shipment
On April 2, authorities got permission to intercept communication from three telephone numbers identified as Matlock's drug phones, records show.
Officials said they intercepted a series of phone calls April 5 between Matlock and Spears that revealed Spears had met with a drug supplier and paid for drugs.
Spears was a courier in the drug ring, according to court documents.
At 9:23 p.m. April 5, investigators intercepted a call that they believe revealed Spears discussing the appearance of the drugs with Matlock.
Here is a transcript of the phone call, according to records:
Spears: Five, well, is, all five of these looked good, but one of 'em don't have a stamp on it.
Matlock: Shoot, what don't it?
Spears: It's all shriveled up.
Matlock: Oh, the whole thing shriveled up?
Spears: Uh, uh, just like the top part, like prolly from the travel. It got pressed down.
Matlock: Quit making excuses for it. Ain't no stamp on it.
Spears: Right. That's what I'm, you can't, I mean, you can see where the stamp was, but you really can't see what the stamp is.
Matlock: Mhmm. So there's only five good ones?
Spears: Five of the, uh, out of the six, yeah.
Matlock: How many is it total?
Matlock: There's only 15 total?
Spears: We got 15 that you would like, plus the other one.
Matlock: So there's really only a 13 piece? Ask 'em can they get some more?
Matlock: Is that right? It's only a -- it's only a 13 piece?
Spears: No, there's 15 but, uh, if you don't want the other one without the stamp on it, then 14. I mean, 10. They're 14.
Matlock: And out of the 15, all 'em, all 'em shiny like a m-----------?
Spears: Yeah, they all silky and flaky.
The DEA agent said Spears was telling Matlock that five kilograms of drugs appeared to be of good quality and one didn't have a stamp. When she talked about its condition, she was indicating that the kilogram had been deformed while in transit, according to authorities.
Spears revealed that there were a total of 16 kilograms of drugs, but only 15 were of good quality, the DEA agent said.
When Matlock asked if they were "shiny" and Spears said they were "silky and flaky," they were referring to kilograms of cocaine, which can often display a shine to them or appear flaky if they're deemed to be better quality, according to the DEA agent.
Matlock and Spears spoke again at 11:40 p.m. April 5, officials said.
Spears told Matlock, "C.L.R. or something and one, ah, FR1. Two FRi and one was, ah, it say FN on it but it's a FR1," according to authorities.
"Label everything the right way," Matlock responded, according to court records. "On the outside for sure so I can see it."
The DEA agent said Spears was being instructed how to label the kilograms of cocaine by Matlock.
Cocaine bricks seized at DTW
Spears had traveled from Las Vegas to the Phoenix area on April 5, flight records show. Officials said she met with the suspected drug supplier on April 5.
On April 8, Spears and another woman had a flight from Arizona to Detroit Metro Airport, records show.
Law enforcement officials seized checked luggage from Spears and the other woman when a drug detecting K-9 alerted authorities to the presence of drugs in both bags, according to court records.
A search warrant was executed on both bags, and officials seized six brick-shaped packages that contained about 8.47 kilograms of cocaine, the DEA agent said.
The labels on the outside of the kilograms matched what Spears and Matlock had discussed during the 11:40 p.m. call, officials said.
Three of the four bricks in Spears' bag were labeled "FR1" and the other was labeled with "CIJ," according to court records.
Neither Spears nor the other woman were arrested, the agent said.
Conversations between Matlock, Hardwick
Investigators intercepted a call between Matlock and Hardwick at 10:08 p.m. July 2, records show.
"I got somebody," Hardwick said, according to authorities. "Baby girl just called me."
He also said, "The first one that I took down there," which is believed to be a reference to Arizona, where Matlock is known to be sourced with drugs, according to officials.
Flight records show Hardwick had traveled with Burks to Arizona in May 2019.
The DEA agent said Hardwick relayed to Matlock his conversation with Burks.
"I just said, 'Hello? Who's this?' She's, like, 'It's Carrie,'" Hardwick said, according to court records.
During another call, Hardwick told Matlock, "My cousin he (unidentifiable) one, but I don't know if you wanted to go that route. I don't know if you're comfortable with that route, but I'll vouch for him."
The DEA agent said Hardwick was indicating that his cousin might be able to travel, but he didn't know if Matlock trusted his cousin.
Authorities said this conversation indicates that Hardwick understood the purpose of travel and that Matlock wanted trusted people to travel on his behalf to Arizona to transport drugs.
Matlock, Brackett discuss travel plans
Matlock spoke with Brackett at 10:10 p.m. July 2 to discuss travel plans, according to court records.
"Pootie, Wick and that girl on that b----, um, Carrie," Matlock said, according to records. Officials said he was referring to Carrencjie, Hardwick and Burks traveling on his behalf to Arizona.
"The SW, what time that leave?" Matlock said, referring to a Southwest Airlines flight, according to authorities.
Couriers for Matlock were known to use Southwest Airlines flights, the DEA agent said.
"You got that girl Carrie information?" Matlock asked to include Spears, according to court records. "Yeah, you should. You got Pootie s---, Wick s---. Hurry up."
Officials believe Brackett was gathering information to book flights for Carrencjie, Hardwick and Burks.
Traveling to Arizona
Matlock spoke with Carrencjie at 10:36 p.m. July 2, court records show.
"Be at Wick house at 10:30," he said, according to authorities. "Tell her just be there at 10:30."
The DEA agent said Matlock was making sure Carrencjie and Burks would be at Hardwick's home in the morning to head to the airport.
In a text message to Matlock, Hardwick provided Burks' full name and date of birth, officials said.
During a phone call at 11:12 a.m. July 3, Matlock called Carrencjie called to make sure they had gotten through security at the airport, according to authorities.
The DEA agent said that call supports the belief that the trip was related to drug trafficking because Matlock wanted to ensure they had made it through security.
GPS information from one of Matlock's phones revealed he traveled to Arizona on July 4, according to court records.
Drug packaging preparation
Matlock spoke with Carrencjie over the phone around 2:25 p.m. July 5, officials said.
"These b------ 5 inches by 100 inches by times 100 feet," Carrencjie said, according to court records. "These ain't the red ones. They got the blue top on there. The um, rans, you told me to get, the Saran wrap thing."
Officials said Carrencjie was buying Saran wrap to repackage the drugs.
"Um, they just like the ones we normally get?" Matlock asked, according to authorities.
"Yeah, they just, they like just a little smaller," Carrencjie said, according to records. "Should I buy more than two?"
"Um, no, that's cool," Matlock said, according to officials. "No, grab three."
Carrenjcie replied, "OK, three? Alright. I got everything else. I got all black suitcase and two, um, tapes like you told me," according to court documents.
Officials said Carrenjcie was buying a suitcase to transport the drugs, and tape and plastic wrap to repackage the drugs.
"Based on training experience and through an analysis of the packaging of the kilograms from the April 8, 2019, drug seizure, I know it is common for drug traffickers to repackage kilograms of drugs, utilizing heat sealers, Saran wrap and duct tape," the DEA agent said in the criminal complaint.
Five arrested at DTW
Authorities said they learned Matlock, Carrencjie, Hardwick and Burks would be traveling back to Detroit.
Matlock was scheduled to arrive on a direct flight from Phoenix, and the other three were scheduled to arrive on another flight from Las Vegas, according to court records.
Matlock was arrested when he arrived at DTW, officials said. He was found to be in possession of multiple cellphones, according to records.
Carrencjie, Hardwick and Burks were arrested when they arrived at DTW, police said. Their luggage was seized plane-side by law enforcement officials when a drug-detecting K-9 alerted officers to the presence of drugs, court documents show.
The DEA agent said 11 brick-shaped packages were seized. Three bricks from Carrencjie's luggage totaled about 3.575 kilos of suspected cocaine, officials said. Four bricks from Hardwick's luggage totaled about 4.87 kilos of cocaine, officials said. Four bricks from Burks' luggage totaled about 4.945 kilos of cocaine, officials said.
Brackett was arrested at DTW driving a vehicle registered to Hardwick, officials said. The DEA agent said she was there to pick up the couriers.
"You're gonna give Pootie 29 and you're gonna give Wick and the girl two apiece," Matlock told Brackett during a July 7 phone call, according to authorities.
The DEA agent said Matlock was telling Brackett how much to pay the couriers for transporting the drugs to Michigan.
"When you all get to that thing, you all gonna pull in McDonald's," Matlock told Brackett, according to authorities. "You're gonna put all three bags in your trunk and she can drop them three people off over on Plymouth."
The DEA agent said Matlock was telling Brackett to put all the drugs in her truck before dropping off the couriers. Officials said this conversation indicates Brackett knew the luggage contained drugs.
"Move quick and everything, you hear me, dumb---?" Matlock said, according to court records.
Search warrants in Oakland County
Police executed three search warrants July 7 at homes in West Bloomfield and Oak Park, according to records.
Authorities searched a home associated with Brackett and Matlock in the 7900 block of Sadsburg Drive in West Bloomfield, a home associated with Matlock in the 6800 block of Kindling Court in West Bloomfield and a home associated with Spears in the 24200 block of Rosewood Street in Oak Park.
Investigators found about 492.1 grams of heroin, a shotgun, a money counter, scales, drug packaging materials, a food saver and what appeared to be a fake Arizona driver's license with a photo of Brackett at the Sadsbury Drive house, according to authorities.
At the Kindling Court house, officials said they found documents with Matlock's name and the name "Bernie Campbell" on them and two handguns, one of which had been reported stolen.
Spears was arrested at the Rosewood Street home, officials said. Counterfeit money, two handguns and several fake Arizona driver's licenses were also found during the search, police said.
The DEA agent said there's probable cause that Spears, Carrencjie, Hardwick and Burks possessed drugs with intent to distribute.
The agent said there's probable cause that Matlock and Brackett aided and abetted the couriers in the scheme.
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