A “mule” in the so-called “Diamond Cut” group that includes a Dayton rap artist was sentenced Thursday for delivering an ounce of fentanyl to a suspected drug dealer.
Darrius Reynolds, 35 — called an otherwise solid citizen with a job who provides for his girlfriend and his two daughters — was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice.
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Two other Diamond Cut members, Clarence Winn Jr. (aka “Chaos” or “CCSERVA”) and Larry Winn, also were indicted in an alleged conspiracy that prosecutors said included the trafficking of 100 grams or more each of carfentanil, heroin, acrylfentanyl and 400 grams of fentanyl.
Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said last year that the street value of drugs seized from the “substantial” operation was more than $160,000.
Larry Winn pleaded guilty to one count and faces a minimum of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced later, according to U.S. District Court records. Clarence Winn Jr. is scheduled for a plea change next week.
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“Mr. Reynolds’ willingness to help Winn is unsurprising given both men’s well established ties to Diamond Cut (or “D-Cut”), a self-described record label that has produced more federal defendants convicted of drug trafficking charges than songs topping the music charts,” assistant U.S. attorney Brent Tabacchi wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
“While it appears that a desire to help Winn drove Mr. Reynolds’ actions, his decision to value his purported friendship over the safety of himself and his community proves troubling.”
Tabacchi wrote that said Reynolds knew the Winns dealt opioids and still went on a delivery to distribute fentanyl and collect $1,000.
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Reynolds’ attorney, Charles Slicer III, wrote in sentencing memorandum that his client “was essentially a mule in this transaction and although he possessed the drugs and admitted to possessing the drugs, he was merely acting at the request of a third party. Mr. Reynolds knew his actions were wrong and has admitted guilt.”
Slicer advocated for a term of probation for Reynolds, who has employment and an HVAC education. Reynolds will not have to pay a fine and will get jail-time credit of six days.
While Rice praised Reynolds’ mostly law-abiding life, he said he had to impose a prison system because fentanyl is “poison.” Reynolds is being allowed to self-report to authorities on or after Aug. 13.
RELATED: Last of 5 Diamond Cut members pleads guilty in 2012 drug case
Reynolds had letters of support from his family attached to the sentencing memo, and several people attended Thursday’s hearing on his behalf.
Reynolds wrote to Rice that his own parents weren’t a big part of his life when he was young and that he wanted to be around for his girls.
“I’m honestly writing this letter to let you know that the situation that I am in is not the person who I really am,” Reynolds wrote. “It’s just one of them moments where I was at (the) wrong place, wrong time or making (the) wrong decisions at (the) wrong time.”
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