EAST ST. LOUIS – U.S. Attorney Rachel Aud Crowe announced on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, that a district judge sentenced a felon from East St. Louis to 97 months’ imprisonment after he admitted to conspiring to launder money and distribute drugs in Southern Illinois.

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Donald B. Perkins, 37, of East St. Louis, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

“This prison sentence reflects the seriousness of breaking the law by distributing illegal drugs, laundering the proceeds and unlawfully having a firearm,” said Crowe. According to court documents, Perkins conspired with a co-defendant to launder money to conceal drug proceeds by using cash exchanges and cashier’s checks. The pair are estimated to have laundered more than $1.2 million.

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Byron Robinson, 60, of Florissant, Mo., was also charged in the indictment with money laundering conspiracy and was sentenced to 3 years of probation in September 2023.

“The act of laundering ill-gotten gains is as important to drug dealers as the distribution of illegal drugs,” said IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Melissa McFadden.

“The special agents of CI are proud to partner with other law enforcement agencies to take that profit-making potential away and help protect our communities from illegal drug activity.”

Law enforcement executed a search warrant on Perkins’s East St. Louis home in November 2021 and recovered more than 550 kilograms of marijuana. While executing the search warrant, officers also found a pistol belonging to Perkins, although Perkins was convicted on prior felony offenses and therefore unable to legally possess firearms. IRS Criminal Investigation and DEA agents contributed to the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Quinley prosecuted the case.

This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

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