Cake shop owner sentenced for cocaine conspiracy and money laundering

Casino money laundering scheme
Cake shop owner sentenced for cocaine conspiracy and money laundering

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) — A man who owned a Virginia Beach cake shop was sentenced to spend 16 years behind bars for cocaine distribution and money laundering.

According to a plea agreement, 43-year-old Vernon Michael Norvell will pay $690,000 in criminal forfeiture.

Norvell pleaded guilty on April 4. According to court documents, Norvell distributed an excess of 126 pounds (57 kilograms) of cocaine and regularly conducted transactions in his home in the Crystal Lake neighborhood of Portsmouth, his cake business — “G’s Cake Shop – Cake for All Occasions” — in Virginia Beach and in a Food Lion parking lot off Airline Blvd.

One confidential source regularly purchased ounce quantities of cocaine for $1,350 to $1,500 over the course of several years.

Another source purchased in excess of five kilograms often paying $46,000 per kilogram.

At times, Norvell accepted between $60,000 and $70,000 a week for cocaine.

Norvell and his wife, 31-year-old Cheron Johnson, used the proceeds of his cocaine distribution to purchase a house, several automobiles, expensive clothing and other material items.

In addition to the drug and money laundering crimes, according to court documents, from 2012 to 2014, Norvell and Johnson reported a combined adjusted gross income of $157,916, yet during that same period they deposited $926,854, including $338,860 in cash, into nearly a dozen bank accounts, including one off shore account located in Curaҫao.

From January 2011 through August 2015 the couple deposited $468,500 in cash into their accounts.

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