In early February of 2015, Damion Green, a man jailed on Houston County drug trafficking charges, sent a seven-page letter to the case judge, seeking a second chance.
I’m a college grad – who’s going to get a trade in August!! Sir, please set me a court date for June 2015. I just need a chance. You won’t regret it. I have to be the man now for my mom and make her smile!!
Almost simultaneously, authorities were tracking his phone conversations, which indicated he was directing a major drug trafficking ring while incarcerated. He and two others recently pleaded guilty and were sentenced to federal prison this week.
Green and Denisha Blandenburg were sentenced to 180 months in federal prison and Kenyon Smith received 100 months for their roles in the operation, one in which Green is purported to have masterminded by phone while jailed on state drug charges. Authorities believe the street value of the drugs trafficked easily totaled several hundred thousand dollars.
According to federal court documents, the operation consisted of the manufacture and sale of smokeable synthetic cannabinoids (spice). The ingredients were shipped to Dothan from China, Houston, and San Francisco. Mini storage units were used for the storage of the product.
One of the first tapped conversations between Green and Blandenburg occurred Feb. 20, 2015, about two weeks after Green’s letter to the case judge. Court documents indicate Green used a prepaid phone card to make calls from the Houston County Jail to Blandenburg, where the two discussed payment amounts from the ring’s sub-distributors. Later conversations between the two on the same day discussed the proper combination of chemicals needed to produce a concoction that would be used to wet an herbal leaf used for smoking. The chemicals came to Dothan from China, the leaf was shipped from San Francisco and foil wrapping papers came from Houston.
“It’s one-two-three, and at the end of the day it’s a good check for ya,” Green tells Blandenburg on Feb. 20, 2015, according to court documents.
On March 6, 2015, Dothan Police performed a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Blandenburg. Court documents indicate police established probable cause to search the vehicle and located numerous receipts for money orders, including one to the People’s Republic of China. In subsequent tapped conversations, Green expressed concern about the suspicions of law enforcement, but it did not appear to slow the operation.
In May of 2015, investigators received authorization to place a GPS tracking device on Blandenburg’s vehicle. Several days later, authorities obtained a search warrant for multiple mini storage units in Dothan. Investigators recovered 114 pounds of packaged smokeable synthetic cannabinoids, a half pound of marijuana, 39 grams of cocaine and $265,195 in cash.
A subsequent phone conversation recorded between Green and Blandenburg indicated Blandenburg had accumulated the seized cash in a three-month period following Green’s incarceration.
Green and Blandenburg pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to import a controlled substance, conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premises and money laundering.
Smith pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and received 100 months in prison.