Enforcer for Toledo Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to More Than 19 Years in Prison After Conviction of Felon in Possession of Firearm and Ammunition

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U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that Darek Lathan, 52, of Toledo, Ohio, was sentenced on Dec. 8, 2021, to 235 months, about 19 and a half years, in prison by Judge George Caram Steeh, Eastern District of Michigan, after a jury found Lathan guilty of felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

According to court documents, in the spring of 2017, the FBI began an investigation into a drug trafficking organization importing kilograms of cocaine and other narcotics to be sold in Toledo, Ohio.  Through the course of the investigation, law enforcement officials learned that members of the organization partnered with Lathan to provide security for the operation and during drug exchanges.

On Nov. 17, 2017, police executed a search warrant at a residence known to be occupied by Lathan and other members of the organization.  During the execution of the warrant, Lathan was identified sleeping near the door next to a loaded pistol.  While executing other search warrants that day, law enforcement officers obtained additional firearms and narcotics connected to the drug trafficking operation.

At trial, the leader of the drug trafficking organization described how Lathan worked for him as an enforcer, always carried a gun and that the firearm found next to Lathan was one that Lathan had acquired. 

Lathan is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to multiple previous convictions in the Lucas County Common Pleas Court of aggravated robbery and kidnapping, aggravated robbery with a firearm and aggravated drug trafficking.  These previous convictions qualified Lathan to be sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Toledo Resident Agency.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew D. Simko and Sara Ann Al-Sorghali.