UPDATE: Kingpin, others sentenced in criminal enterprise investigation

Rolando Antwain Williamson sentenced for drug trafficking. (Source: SOURCE: JEFFCO SHERIFF'S...
Rolando Antwain Williamson sentenced for drug trafficking. (Source: SOURCE: JEFFCO SHERIFF'S OFFICE)((Source: SOURCE: JEFFCO SHERIFF'S OFFICE))
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 11:21 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 21, 2022 at 11:23 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A Bessemer man charged under the “Kingpin” statute, for leading a continuing criminal enterprise and large-scale drug trafficking conspiracy was sentenced to life in prison plus 120 months.

Rolando Antuain Williamson was found guilty in April of 2022.

U.S. District Judge Annmarie C. Axon sentenced Williamson for conspiring to distribute or possess with intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana; distributing or possession with intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana; using, carrying, or possessing a firearm during or in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and using a communication facility to commit a drug trafficking crime.

Two others were also sentenced by Judge Axon. Ishmywel Calid Gregory was sentenced to 480 months in prison and Hendarius Lamar Archie was sentenced to 169 months. Gregory and Archie were convicted of conspiring to distribute or possess with intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. Both Gregory and Archie were also convicted of distributing or possessing with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana. Archie was also convicted of using, carrying, or possessing a firearm during or in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

In all, 18 people were charged in the indictment.

The convictions were the result of a three-year investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) of this West Jefferson County-based drug-trafficking enterprise.

The OCDETF agencies involved in this investigation are the FBI, IRS, member agencies of the FBI North Alabama Safe Streets Task Force, Bessemer Police Department, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

The North Alabama Safe Streets Task Force arrested Williamson the morning of August 22, 2019, in the parking lot of a grocery store located in Homewood, Alabama. At the time of arrest, prosecutors said Williamson had two loaded pistols (with additional loaded magazines) and almost $14,000 in cash. All other members of the conspiracy were arrested on or about November 13, 2019.

At the time of Williamson’s arrest law enforcement officers also seized three of his stash houses, 366 grams of heroin/fentanyl, 109 grams of suspected cocaine, 573 grams of pure methamphetamine, 52 kilos of marijuana, over $97,000 in cash, multiple firearms, and over 1700 rounds of ammunition.

“This verdict should send a message to those engaged in violent crime and distribution of deadly drugs in our communities,” U.S. Attorney Escalona said. “The investigation and prosecution of violent crime continues to be our highest priority. I commend our law enforcement partners for their tireless efforts to ensure these defendants were brought to justice.”

“Removing this “kingpin” and the dangerous drugs he and his criminal enterprise peddled will no doubt save lives and families from the pain of addiction,” SAC Sharp said. “This sentence reflects the severity of Williamsons actions, and he will have decades in prison to consider the impact of his decisions. This case highlights the joint commitment, dedication, and partnership between our law enforcement partners in combatting drug trafficking in our community.”

“Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies assigned to the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, worked in conjunction with the FBI and other participating agencies during this 3-year investigation,” Sheriff Pettway said. “The illegal drug trade ruins hundreds of lives in Jefferson County every year. We are proud to have been a part of disrupting the trade and distribution of these illegal narcotics in western Jefferson County. Working in unison with our fellow local and federal agencies, we are able to share and act on critical intelligence that is imperative to shutting down these type operations. This case is an example of how these agencies working together successfully disrupted a large-scale drug operation. We look forward to continuing these invaluable partnerships against crime.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Internal Revenue Service, investigated the case along with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Bessemer Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan S. Cross and Gregory R. Dimler are prosecuting the case.

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