In November 2011, Ospicio Olea Aguilar was involved in a plan to steal cocaine and marijuana from a man he thought was a drug dealer, but who in reality was working at the direction of agents.
According to United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges and other information presented in court, in October 2011, Aguilar and co-defendants Tedrick Whiters and Sergio Jovanny Bibiano Vasquez approached a man in Marietta they believed would be able to sell them cocaine. The man, however, had previously cooperated with law enforcement, and he contacted officers to let them know what happened, agreeing to work at their direction.
Over the following weeks, the cooperator spoke and met with Aguilar, Vasquez and Whiters to discuss the drug deal. Whiters attempted to have the drug deal take place in Atlanta, but the cooperator stated that his supplier was from Dalton and would only go as far south as Cartersville. Whiters, Aguilar and Vasquez convinced the cooperator to go to Atlanta on one occasion to discuss the deal. The real purpose of the meeting was to rob him of the drugs should he have the drugs with him.
Co-defendant Frederico Jerburshio Jones followed the cooperator and was prepared to rip off the cooperator at gunpoint if he had the drugs with him. Eventually, Whiters, Aguilar and Vasquez asked the cooperator to provide 5 kilograms of cocaine and 150 pounds of marijuana for a total cost of $217,500. They agreed the deal would take place on Nov. 2, 2011, at the Cracker Barrel off Interstate 75 exit 290 in Cartersville.
About 11 a.m. on Nov. 2, agents set up surveillance in an area overlooking Cracker Barrel. As they set up surveillance, they noted co-defendants Willie Charles Townsend, Corwin Jackson Finsley and Maurice Jammorow Beavers were setting up counter surveillance. These three men left their first meeting site and moved to different locations, some of them out of the line of sight of agents.
Eventually, Vasquez called the cooperator and said they were near exit 290. Vasquez showed up in a car driven by Finsley, with Jones in the front passenger seat. Jones got out of the car, confirmed that the cooperator had the drugs and told him that they should move the deal next door to the Shell gas station, which, unlike Cracker Barrel, did not have surveillance cameras. The cooperator agreed and moved his vehicle to the Shell station.
When he got out of his car, Jones pulled a gun on him and ordered him to get into Jones’ car. The cooperator struggled with Jones and was able to wrestle the gun away. He threw the gun under a car and ran into the Shell station convenience store. Jones ran after him, but the cooperator held the doors to the store shut.
The cooperator was wearing a wire while all of this was happening. Agents knew that what was supposed to be a buy-bust operation was turning into a drug rip and attempted kidnapping. Agents moved in and arrested Jones as he attempted to flee and also stopped the car that Finsley was driving.
Agents drew their firearms on Finsley as he attempted to reach under his seat, where officers later found a 9mm Kel-Tech pistol. Officers also stopped the car Townsend and Beavers were in as they attempted to drive away. Because Whiters and Aguilar were in a different area overlooking the scene, they were able to drive away, but they were arrested later that day in Atlanta.
DTF Commander Mark Mayton said Thursday the case was the outcome of the cooperation between agencies.
“This is a direct result of our cooperation with our federal partners,” he said. “Because of our partnership, we were able to take down a robbing crew that was responsible for robbing drug dealers, which could put innocent lives at risk.”
Mayton pointed out the crew picked a public place where bystanders could be in danger. But, he added, the agency trains for the worst-case scenario.
“In these high-risk operations, we hope for the best and plan for the worst. We anticipate in each case the possibility of being ripped off or robbed,” Mayton said. “This was really good police work.”
Aguilar was the last of seven defendants to be sentenced in connection with the case. The defendants were charged with one count of conspiracy to attempt to commit a robbery and one count of possessing firearms in relation to the robbery. They were also charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana and one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.
The defendants were sentenced as follows:
• Aguilar, 28, of Atlanta has been sentenced to 15 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Aguilar was convicted of these charges April 15 after he pleaded guilty.
• Whiters, 39, of Atlanta was sentenced July 23 to 17 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Whiters was convicted of these charges April 15 after he pleaded guilty.
• Vasquez, 24, of Atlanta was sentenced Aug. 30, 2012, to 15 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Vasquez was convicted of these charges June 7, 2012, after he pleaded guilty.
• Jones, 41, of Atlanta was sentenced Oct. 11, 2012, to 15 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Jones was convicted of these charges July 26, 2012, after he pleaded guilty.
• Townsend, 35, of Atlanta was sentenced Jan. 10 to 15 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Townsend was convicted of these charges Oct. 18, 2012, after he pleaded guilty.
• Finsley, 43, of Atlanta was sentenced Oct. 11, 2012, to 15 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Finsley was convicted of these charges July 26, 2012, after he pleaded guilty.
• Beavers, 29, of Atlanta was sentenced July 23 to 15 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Beavers was convicted of these charges April 18 after he pleaded guilty.
“These seven defendants played a risky game when they tried to rob a drug dealer at gunpoint,” Yates said. “Thanks to the quick action of law enforcement, the armed robbery ended not in tragedy but in the arrests of all the men involved in this conspiracy.”
This case was investigated by the FBI Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service.Assistant United States Attorneys William G. Traynor and Paul R. Jones prosecuted the case.