Drug trafficking conspiracy: St. Johns native sentenced to 57 months in prison

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI. (WILX) -- A St. Johns native was named Friday as one of 26 defendants convicted in a drug trafficking conspiracy that involved distribution of cocaine in and around Grand Rapids for more than a year.

Nicole Lynn Starr was convicted by a federal grand jury in Kalamazoo with conspiracy to “distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine,” according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Starr was sentenced to 57 months in prison, the news release said.

Starr is the only defendant from the Lansing region listed in the news release.

The list of people convicted includes 18 Grand Rapids residents, three from Houston, Texas, one from Muskegon, one from Detroit, one from Wyoming and one from Columbus, Ohio.

Convictions stem from a drug trafficking organization led by Grand Rapids resident Howard Anthony Mayfield, the news release said.

Prosecutors said Mayfield’s organization distributed kilograms of cocaine in and around Grand Rapids between April 2017 and May 2018.

Mayfield pleaded guilty to the cocaine-trafficking conspiracy on June 20 and is pending sentencing, currently scheduled for February 3, 2020, the news release said.

The news release said defendants Ryan Brown, of Wyoming, Michigan, Douglas Emmanuel Carey III, of Grand Rapids, and Marvin Nix, of Grand Rapids, obtained cocaine from Mayfield and re-distributed it to customers in its powder form or as crack cocaine.

Defendant Salena Kolarich, of Columbus, collected cash in drug proceeds from Mayfield and delivered it to a Houston-based supplier through wire transfers and via commercial flight, the news release said.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Michigan State Police, the Metropolitan Enforcement Team, the Kentwood Police Department and the Grand Rapids Police Department.

DEA Detroit Division Special Agent Keith Martin said in a statement the conviction of Mayfield’s organization “sends a strong, unified message that distribution of cocaine, or any other illicit drug, will not be tolerated.”

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