An illegal Guyanese migrant’s thriving drug business in the US came crumbling down late last month when he was arrested following a ten-year investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Loris Gemon, who could not read, also set up other businesses with the proceeds of his illicit trade and boasted that he was trafficking for 24 years and the only reason he was not caught was because he is not greedy. His words and actions brought him down.
Gemon, who is charged along with the mother of his child, Twanda Price and associate Ian Nichols, has since appeared before Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer and remanded to prison.
Gemon was the owner of a barber shop, a studio, a car wash and a shop selling car parts and during a conversation with an undercover officer, who was posing as a drug supplier, he boasted of trafficking in cocaine for 24 years and being the owner of about 27 luxury cars. He also owns several houses, with at least one in Guyana. None of the businesses and vehicles were registered in his name.
According to the 23-page criminal complaint filed by HSI agent James Bryant, Gemon “conspired to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and launder proceeds of the drug trafficking.”
He allegedly received cocaine from Miami and the southwest border area of Texas and was supplying it to people in Charlotte, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the document said.
The accused, who is also known as Buck, Gregory Martin, Junior Bristol and Chris Lashawn, came under the radar of law enforcement agencies since 2004 after they received information alleging that he was engaged in cocaine trafficking and money laundering. The complaint against him was based on the information of four confidential informants and according to the agent, their information has been corroborated to the extent possible, and nothing has been found to be untruthful.
For the name Gregory Anthony Martin, Gemon had at one time produced to authorities, a Canadian Social security card.
According to the complaint, in 2004, Gemon was attempting to conduct a cocaine transaction when he was beaten and robbed of his drugs and/or money. He left town for a period of time after that incident before restarting his illicit business.
Apart from having two associates delivering drugs and uplifting money, Gemon also allegedly used Price and another woman who also had a child for him, as his runners and he also registered some of the cars in their names.
One of the informants told the authorities after he was arrested, that Gemon was from Guyana and that two or three of his children died in an automobile accident a few years ago. He also indicated that Gemon was in the US illegally. The complaint detailed how Gemon had a taste for expensive cars and would shell out large sums of money to purchase these vehicles.
In an incident in 2010, as related by one of the informants, Gemon and his associates got into an argument after he refused to give money to one of the mother of his children, Chassity Collins when she asked. The associate is said to have angrily told Gemon that Collins and Price risked their lives “going up and down the road transporting cocaine and money” for him.
He had told one of his associates that vehicles would be purchased with cash as ‘straw purchases’ and placed in nominees’ names. Some of the vehicles he purchased included a Honda Ridgeline for US$15,000, a Lexus RX 300 for US$14,000, a Bentley for US$4,000 and a Dodge Challenger for US$37,000. He is also said to have purchased a Mercedes-Benz for US$60,000. Gemon also owned an 18-wheelet truck, two trucks and boats that he would have purchased with drug proceeds over the years.
Further details of his extravagant lifestyle revealed that Gemon also spent large sums of money on clothes as one associate recalled him spending US$20, 000 during a shopping trip. He purchased more than US$150,000 worth of equipment for his New Line Kutz barber shop and paid US$2,000 a month rent. His recording studio was described as being “extremely nice, with a shower and bedroom, pool tables and other nice amenities.”
But he also had trouble reading and was forced to depend on an associate, who later became a confidential witness for the authorities, to read and negotiate contracts on his behalf. He even purchased a property and land in a “bad” area in North Carolina even though he was told that it was not worth that much but he wanted to help the owner who was going through a rough patch.
As the authorities were closing in on him, Gemon told an undercover officers-posing as a drug dealer- on April 24th that he owned several properties in North Carolina and California. He told the officer that he was trafficking for 24 years and the only reason he has not been caught was because he is not greedy.