5 plead guilty in north Texas marijuana distribution scheme

Five McKinney men have pleaded guilty to an array of federal charges related to a combination foreclosure rescue and a marijuana distribution scheme.

According to information presented in court, from February 2007 to June 2012, the three men controlled and operated Applied Investment Strategies, Inc. (AIS), which marketed itself as a foreclosure rescue service offering assistance to homeowners at risk of foreclosure.

Once a homeowner employed AIS, the defendants fraudulently used the customer’s personal identification information to prepare and send false military orders to banks and lending institutions to claim relief from foreclosure under the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act. AIS would then lease out the home and collect rental payments, with some homes being turned into marijuana grow operations.

The scheme involved about 38 homes throughout north Texas which housed close to 1,300 marijuana plants.

The men involved were Jarrod Williams, Julius Williams, Charles Williams, Christopher Carter and Sean Harrell.

Jarrod and Julius both face up to five years in federal prison. Charles, 38, also of McKinney, pleaded guilty Dec. 18, 2012, to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. He faces up to 20 years on the fraud charges and between 10 years and life on the drug charge. Harrell, 37, of Dallas, pleaded guilty Aug. 7 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and faces from 10 years to life. Carter, 33, of Leicester, England, on April 12 was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

By: Stephen Carter
Contact Stephen via email at TXCann@gmail.com

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