Tory Lenard Troup has been sentenced as the Atlanta-based leader of a ring of repeat offenders who moved large quantities of cocaine through Atlanta and laundered criminal proceeds using a network of bank accounts, business entities, and purchases of luxury and high-performance cars, homes, jewelry, and cosmetic surgery. Members of the group also obtained fraudulent loans from the Paycheck Protection Program and the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
“This network of drug traffickers victimized our community in many ways, including by distributing dangerous drugs and exploiting the banking system and pandemic disaster funds while buying homes in our neighborhoods as a way to conceal their illegal profits,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Through a successful multi-year, cross-agency investigation and resulting seizure of assets, the main culprits will serve prison sentences and lose the spoils of their crimes.”
“This sentencing deals a major blow to Troup’s drug trafficking organization, and is a major step in keeping drugs off the streets of metro Atlanta and elsewhere,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “This criminal organization has reached its final chapter, as these defendants will now spend well-deserved time in prison.”
“Homeland Security Investigations will continue to utilize our expertise to combat the movement of illicit narcotics and proceeds in an effort to stop our communities from being poisoned by greedy criminals,” said HSI Miami Special Agent in Charge Anthony Salisbury. “Through the collaborative efforts with our partners, this narcotics trafficking network has been dismantled and their flow of dangerous narcotics into the United States has been stopped.”
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges, and other information presented in court: in 2008, Tory Troup, shortly after his release from prison in 2007 for his second federal drug trafficking conviction, organized other convicted drug traffickers, including Franklin Troup, Joseph Alexander, and Rodriquez Redding, to form a new criminal operation. They worked together to source cocaine from Colombia, the Bahamas, and Texas; transported the drugs by private plane, car, and UPS shipments to the Atlanta area; and distributed the drugs to customers in Atlanta and South Carolina. One customer, Lidurrius Bailey, converted the cocaine into large batches of crack (nearly 400 grams at a time) for further distribution. They also smuggled bulk quantities of marijuana, up to nine bales at a time, into the Miami area by boat.
The group transported some of its drug proceeds by having people drive the cash in cars or shipping bundles of cash through the mail, FedEx, or UPS. And to minimize the risk of detection by law enforcement they used a multi-faceted money laundering operation to covertly gather payments, and move those proceeds from customers in Atlanta and South Carolina to Texas, using a network of bank accounts held by multiple individuals, including Troup’s wife, LaShana Johnson, as well as a girlfriend in Houston. Troup also enlisted a business entity and its bank accounts to collect and launder illegal profits disguised as revenue from legitimate business operations. The conspirators then used their illegal profits to buy luxury cars, often in other people’s names, all in an effort to avoid drawing law enforcement attention.
For example, Redding convinced two of his relatives to purchase and register a $92,000 Mercedes CL 63 AMG and a $65,000 Mercedes CLS 550 in their names with his drug money, drawing them into his web of crimes and ultimately subjecting them to the arrival of federal agents at their door. The group also concealed drug profits by buying properties, many of them homes in residential neighborhoods. Elgin Jordan, who sourced some of the drugs for members of the operation, accumulated 14 properties. Many of the homes sat vacant or were rented, preventing lawful citizens from purchasing the properties and peacefully residing in those neighborhoods. Members of the group also used their profits to buy expensive jewelry and even cosmetic surgery, most often paying cash in the mistaken belief that they could avoid law enforcement detection by doing so.
For many years the group managed to operate their scheme without law enforcement intervention due to their extensive concealment efforts, tight code of loyalty, and threats to others. But ultimately a collaboration of multiple federal agencies conducting a comprehensive financial investigation, in combination with evidence from local agencies, a wiretap, drug and money seizures, information from cooperating sources who feared violent retribution, and undercover recordings, produced a series of federal charges that dismantled the organization.
Redding and Johnson, two of the conspirators granted bond while their charges were pending, continued their criminal efforts and fraudulently obtained Paycheck Protection Program loans and an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program advance for businesses that did not exist. As a result, the court imposed additional sentences and/or restitution obligations.
Tory Lenard Troup, 52, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to eight years in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit two residential properties and $840,124. He pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to commit money laundering on June 2, 2021.
The following individuals were previously sentenced:
- Franklin Benson Troup, 51, of Austell, Georgia, was sentenced to eight years in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $690,000. He pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to commit money laundering on June 2, 2021.
- Joseph Anthony Alexander, 52, of Coral Springs, Florida, was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison followed by five years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $111,860. He pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to commit money laundering on March 11, 2019.
- Rodriquez Deonte Redding, a/k/a “Rodriguez Redding,” a/k/a “Dreek,” 38, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by five years of supervised release and ordered to pay $46,666 in restitution to the U.S. Small Business Administration and PPP lenders. He pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to commit money laundering on June 2, 2021, and pleaded guilty to a charge of committing wire fraud while on pretrial release on January 21, 2022.
- LaShana Michele Johnson, a/k/a “LaShana Troup,” 50, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to four years of probation and ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the U.S. Small Business Administration. She pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering on June 7, 2021.
- Lidurrius Bailey, 49, of Fayetteville, Georgia, was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release and forfeited $709,985 and jewelry valued at $31,750. He pleaded guilty to a charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base on October 23, 2015.
- Elgin Demarco Jordan, 48, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to eight years in prison followed by four years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit 14 properties with a total tax assessed value of over $1.5 million. He pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin and conspiracy to commit money laundering on June 2, 2016.