An Oakland, Calif., man was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute cocaine today by a jury in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh following a one week trial.
Anthony London, 56, was stopped by Drug Enforcement Administration agents in 2008 after flying from Pittsburgh to Oakland for the sixth time in 99 days. A search of his bag revealed $104,000, carefully wrapped.
He was accused of being part of a conspiracy that used airlines, charter flights, trucks, cars and courier services to deliver 2,000 kilograms of cocaine from California to Pittsburgh. Three people who have pleaded guilty to roles in the crew testified against him, and a trail of transactions assembled by IRS Criminal Investigations showed that he took the same flights, stayed in the same hotel and shopped in the same stores as members of the conspiracy.
“If Mr. London was [used as] a dupe, a patsy, by these sophisticated drug dealers,” said his defense attorney, Stephen Begler, during closing arguments Tuesday, “then Mr. London is not guilty.”
“What about the fact that he had no job, and yet in his luggage he had $104,000 in heat-sealed cash?” asked assistant U.S. attorney Ross Lenhardt. “If he is willfully blind [to the crime], then he is also guilty, and that’s what happened here.”
Mr. London was to be tried with four other Bay Area men accused of transporting drugs to Pittsburgh, but three pleaded guilty on the eve of trial and one will be tried separately because of problems between him and his attorney.
Mr. London faces sentencing by U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone on May 29.
Rich Lord: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1542. Twitter @richelord