Updated:TACOMA, Wash. —
A Tacoma man and his nephew were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for a scheme to smuggle and distribute thousands of oxycodone pills found hidden in speakers.
Prosecutors said the method was used by the men throughout the case.
Tacoma man Dion Martin, 54, and his nephew, 39-year-old Morocco Martin, of Los Angeles, were arrested in September 2013 and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in U.S. District Court in January.
Prosecutors said Dion Martin distributed thousands of the pills in the Tacoma area and transferred the drug proceeds to suppliers in California by depositing payments in accounts in Tacoma, which were later withdrawn in Southern California.
Court documents said Morocco Martin shipped pills from California to his uncle in Tacoma, often hidden in stereo speakers. The shipments were then sent to various family members as a way to hide them from investigators.
After some of the shipments were seized by authorities, the men stopped sending the pills by mail.
When the two men were stopped in a rental car headed from L.A. to Tacoma in September, police found a stereo speaker packed with 7,500 oxycodone pills in the truck.
A search of Dion Martin’s Tacoma home yielded 1,000 pills more pills and more than $57,000 in cash.
Morocco Martin supplied the pills to his uncle, and arranged cash deposits and withdrawals to pay others involved in the operation. Dion Martin then supplied the pills to others in Western Washington.
Dion Martin was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison and three years of supervised release. His nephew was sentenced to eight years in prison and three years of supervised release.
The case was investigated by the South Sound Gang Task Force with agents and officers from the FBI, Tacoma Police Department and the Washington State Department of Corrections.