Man charged with trafficking drugs

By Sky Opila

A Chicago man was charged Wednesday with directing a drug trafficking organization which allegedly transported several kilograms of cocaine and crack cocaine from Chicago to the Champaign-Urbana area from March 2003 to December 2007.

The indictment from a federal grand jury charges Olaitan Fowowe, 26, and two others – Sasha Daley, 23, of Chicago and Kristopher Davis, 24, of South Holland, Ill. – with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, according to a press release. A fourth person was indicated as having involvement but remains a fugitive.

If convicted of conspiracy, Fowowe faces mandatory life in prison.

Prosecutors allege Daley transported the illegal substances from Chicago to Champaign-Urbana and brought drug proceeds back to Fowowe. The indictment also alleges that Davis rented an apartment in Urbana and distributed the drugs around the area.

“These charges reflect a successful cooperative effort to dismantle a drug trafficking conspiracy allegedly responsible for supplying the Champaign-Urbana community with kilos of cocaine and crack cocaine for nearly five years,” said U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, Rodger Heaton, in a press release.

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    According to the affidavit, officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Champaign Police Department gathered information that indicates the drug trafficking organization recruited several others to assist in the conspiracy.

    These individuals were allegedly responsible for renting vehicles used to transport cocaine and money, renting apartments for drug dealers and obtaining cell phones in their names in an attempt to prevent law enforcement agencies from tracking the organization’s activities.

    According to the affidavit and statements made in federal court, 25 search warrants have been issued for residences and vehicles in the Champaign County area believed to be tied to the organization. These searches have resulted in the seizure of five vehicles, 405 grams of cannabis, about 1,722 grams of powder cocaine, more than one kilogram of crack cocaine, eight semiautomatic handguns – two of which had previously been reported stolen – and approximately $110,000 in cash.

    In addition to Fowowe, Daley and Davis, seven additional defendants were indicted on specific charges.

    “We are especially proud of the effort the department’s drug unit has put into this case,” said Champaign Police Chief R.T. Finney in a press release. “It is especially gratifying to see the outcomes that can be produced from the alliance that has been forged with our counterparts in the (Drug Enforcement Administration) and (the Internal Revenue Service).”