14 Arrested in Major Atlanta Drug Bust – ‘Operation Rude Beast’

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Published on December 17, 2010 with No Comments

Operation Rude Beast Breaks Up Atlanta/Jamaica Drug Smuggling Ring

Called Operation Rude Beast (extremely offensive by the way!!!), a drug smuggling sting operation involving more than 10 organizations, the help of Jamaican police and U.S. enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of 14 people in Atlanta. The operation is described by US Attorney Sally Quillian Yates as “a large scale ecstasy trafficking organization and one of the largest seizures in the country”. According to Yates, the investigation led to the seizure of over “$2.8 million worth of ecstasy from a house in Chamblee one of the largest seizures in the country.

The indictment charges Devon Samuels, a Customs and Border Protection agent (at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport) with the alleged assistance of associate Mark Tomlinson, with “taking payoffs to smuggle guns and drug money from undercover agents posing as international drug traffickers, Yates said. Samuels, 45, was charged with conspiring to launder drug money, bulk cash smuggling and attempting to bring weapons onto an aircraft, according to one of three federal grand jury indictments, which were unsealed Thursday. Also, arrested were Samuels’ wife, Keisha “Platinum” Jones, and a Delta Air Lines employee who allegedly accepted money to transport the alleged drug money and weapons to Jamaica.

According to information released Thursday, Jerome Bushay, 32, of Norcross helped lead an organization that distributed the drugs across the area and the country. Bushay reportedly ran the organization that used several distributors, brokers and couriers to facilitate their drug distribution. Among the 11 listed on the federal indictment for conspiring to traffic MDMA and marijuana were Bushay and 33-year-old Snellville resident Christopher Apachee Williams.

Jamaican authorities worked closely with U.S. officials in this case. Jamaican police commisioner Owen Ellington praised the work of his officers. “As commissioner of police I am proud of the work our members did in partnering with our friends from several United States law enforcement agencies to smash what has turned out to be a major international drug trafficking ring

One indictment states that on November 3, an undercover officer posing as a money launderer gave Samuels approximately $22,000 in money supposedly from the sale of drugs. Samuels, with help from an associate, unlawfully used his badge to bypass security and avoid security screening to smuggle the money through the Atlanta airport to Jamaica, the document states. Once in Jamaica, Samuels delivered the money to a Jamaican undercover officer, posing as an international drug trafficker, according to the indictment.

Samuels also is charged with accepting $50,000 in alleged drug money on November 19 from another undercover officer. Samuels and his wife, Keisha Jones, 30, traveled from Atlanta to Jamaica, where they allegedly delivered the money to Jamaican undercover police officers, the indictment states. Samuels again used his customs officer badge to bypass security and avoid screening.

Pursuant to a search warrant from that investigation, officials also raided a home at 1855 8th Street in Chamblee, finding more than 700,000 ecstasy pills stashed in insulation and crawl spaces.

A home on Amy Drive in Snellville was also seized, officials said. Several Stone Mountain and other metro residents were indicted as well Thursday.

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