Three sentenced for roles in Rochester area drug ring
MINNEAPOLIS — Three members of a southeastern Minnesota marijuana-dealing ring were sentenced Thursday and Friday in federal court.
Richard Allen Kay, 39, of Zumbro Falls, pleaded guilty in January to 13 counts and was sentenced this week to more than 16 years in prison. The charges included one court of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of conspiracy to engage in the interstate transportation of stolen goods, and 11 counts of money laundering.
Also sentenced were Jamie Allen Davidson, 40, of Rochester, to five years in prison, and Shawn Robert Milliken, 32, of Rochester, to four years, two months in prison. Both pleaded guilty earlier to one count of conspiracy.
Two other members of the ring — Jason Ray Meek, 37, of Rochester, and Brandon Christopher Lusk, 38, of Rochester — are to be sentenced in August. Both pleaded guilty earlier to one count of conspiracy.
Kay, who did business in Minnesota as "Kay Diamonds," admitted in court that he helped distribute more than 2,200 pounds of marijuana, valued at up to $5,000 a pound, from 1995 through March 2011. He also admitted that from 2001 to 2009, he transported stolen merchandise, specifically gemstones stolen from Sterling Jewelers Inc. in Ohio. The company distributes its gems to 1,300 stores nationwide. An unnamed co-conspirator supplied Kay with the diamonds and other stolen jewels. In all, Kay transported 50 to 100 gems between Ohio and Minnesota.
Kay testified he conducted 11 bank transactions with drug proceeds, including several that included multiple transactions at amounts small enough to avoid mandated reporting to the Treasury Department.
Davidson, in his plea agreement, admitted joining the drug ring in 2005, that he helped distribute marijuana and helped Kay hide assets generated from the activity, which included jewelry, a boat, a luxury automobile, and lakeshore property in the Zumbro Falls area. The government is seeking forfeiture of those items, as well as cash generated from the drug sales.
Milliken, who joined the conspiracy in 2003, testified that the marijuana was transported from other states to Rochester, where it was stored in several residences and storage units. From there, it was delivered to distributors.
Besides his 200-month prison term, Kay was sentenced to pay a $500,000 government fine and $300,000 in restitution to Sterling Jewelers. U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery issued the sentences.