Six men, including three from Colorado, are charged in connection with a conspiracy related to drug trafficking and an attempted murder-for-hire plot.
According to the Department of Justice, two of the arrestees are from Colorado Springs and have military ties. Kevin Corley, 29, and Samuel Walker, 28, both went to Laredo on March 24 and discussed the murder plot with undercover agents. They were accompanied by two others, including Shavar Davis, 29, of Denver.
In addition, Marcus Mickle, 20, and Calvin Epps, 26, both of Hopkins, S.C., were arrested in South Carolina. A sixth man, Mario Corley, 40, of Saginaw, Texas, was also taken into custody in relation to this case in Charleston, S.C.
The DOJ says the investigation began in January when Mickle began to negotiate for marijuana with undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agents posing as members of the Lot Zetas Cartel. Mickle and Epps allegedly told undercover agents about a friend in the military who could provide military weapons to them. The agents were later introduced to Corley, who allegedly identified himself as an active duty officer in the Army responsible for training soldiers. He offered to provide tactical training for cartel members and to purchase weapons for the cartel under his name.
Over the next several months, Corley allegedly remained in contact with the undercover agents regarding the equipment and training he could offer the cartel. Then in January of 2012, he met with the agents in Laredo and told them he could provide a team to raid a ranch where 20 kilograms of stolen cocaine were being kept by rival cartel members. He reportedly said he would complete the murder-for-hire with a small team for the cost of $50,000 and five kilograms of cocaine.
Corley also allegedly offered to provide security for Mickle and Epps’ purchase of 500 pounds of marijuana and transporting it from Texas to South Carolina.
On March 5, Corley delivered weapons, including two AR-15 assault rifles with scopes, an airsoft rifle, and ballistic vests, in exchange for $10,000. At that meeting, the undercover agent also asked Corley again about the contract killing. Corley allegedly replied that he had purchased a new knife to carve a “Z” into the victim’s chest, and was planning on buying a hatchet to dismember the body.
Then, on March 24, Corley, Walker and Davis went to Laredo to discuss the plan for the murder. They were arrested during a shootout in which a fourth suspect was shot and killed.
Inside of Corley’s car, the agents found two semi-automatic rifles with scopes, one bolt-action rifle with a scope and bipod, one hatchet, one Ka-Bar knife, one bag of .223 caliber ammunition, and one box of .300 caliber ammunition.
The criminal complaint charges the six men with conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking or violent crime. In addition, Corley, Mickle and Epps are also charged for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.
In addition to the DEA, the FBI and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division participated in this investigation.