Drug kingpin, cohorts appeal convictions

Published 11:16 pm Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Convicted drug dealer Starsky Darnell Redd and three co-defendants, including his mother, are asking the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn their money-laundering convictions.

The New Orleans court this past week scheduled arguments in the case for Jan. 7.

Redd already was serving a lengthy prison sentence for conspiracy to possess and distribute narcotics when he was convicted in 2006 on five counts of money laundering. U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate in Jackson sentenced Redd to 90 years in prison.

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The sentence is running concurrently with the nearly 21 years remaining on Redd’s sentence in 2002 for conspiring to possess and distribute $8 million in narcotics in Jackson.

Co-defendants Charles Wells and Simon Taylor, found guilty on one count each of money laundering, were sentenced to 41 months and 33 months respectively.

Redd’s mother, Delores Redd, was sentenced to more than 14 years for helping her son launder more than $600,000 in drug money from 1996 to 2002.

Prosecutors said Delores Redd got a home, drove a Mercedes and a Lexus and got money through her son’s illegal drug activity. They referred to her as an organizer and manager for her son’s criminal activity.

Starsky Redd had been in jail since his arrest in November 2000. Authorities said he began dealing drugs in high school. Redd and co-defendants used money from drug deals to buy homes, luxury vehicles and a boat beginning in 1996 and continuing to 2002, authorities said.

The items were bought through intermediaries and “shell” entities and with checks and money orders from several banks, the FBI said.

Former Jackson airport security chief Billy Tucker, who admitted helping Redd launder money, was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison. He was the star witness against Redd.

Prosecutors said Tucker told the FBI about the $8 million truckload of illegal drugs headed to Jackson. They said Tucker became an FBI informant in October 2000.