A leader of a large-scale drug trafficking organization that distributed thousands of pounds of marijuana throughout the Philadelphia region was sentenced Monday in federal court.
Tyron McFadden, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to cocaine and marijuana distribution charges and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He will serve 23 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release.
McFadden, 36, and two of his brothers allegedly transported multiple kilograms of cocaine and suitcases full of marijuana from the Los Angeles area to Philadelphia using checked luggage on commercial airlines. His operation ran between 2009 and 2015.
McFadden was brazen. Even while serving a five-month sentence for fraud, he was able to direct an associate to move three kilos of cocaine to Philadelphia. Also, while in custody he directed his sister to distribute 20 pounds of California marijuana.
Several Philadelphia-based drug traffickers in 2009 and 2010 used the services of Tasfa Payne and Abdullah Robinson, who both claimed to have a "TSA connection" at the Los Angeles airport who ensured baggage was not searched, according to court documents. McFadden claimed to use their services, but prosecutors said it was only to exact more money from drug dealers farther down the distribution ladder.
McFadden moved to using the mails in 2012 after federal agents arrested Payne and Robinson and word was the airport was "hot," prosecutors said.
McFadden solicited help from U.S. Postal Service mail carriers and paid them to intercept priority mail packages containing the drugs and deliver them to him directly, according to court records
After law enforcement seized cash made from drug sales, McFadden stopped using the airlines to ship money between the coasts. Authorities said the organization laundered more than $1 million by using banks with branches in both Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
"McFadden and other members of this deadly drug organization pumped cocaine and marijuana into our community for years, profiting from other people's misery," said U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain.