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Trials & Litigation

2 defendants who skipped guilty verdict in federal drug case found with $760K; 3rd remains at large

Posted Jun 13, 2014 8:58 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Corrected: A month after three defendants in a major Detroit drug trial skipped the verdict on May 12, two have been captured with $760,000 in cash.

But the third man, Earnest Proge, apparently remains at large.

Kingpin Carlos Powell, 39, was taken into custody in the basement of a St. Louis home at 10:45 p.m. on June 4. Authorities said he was carrying $750,000 and a firearm, reports the Detroit News.

His brother and drug ring co-defendant Eric Powell, 36, was found with $10,000 during a simultaneous raid in Atlanta, the newspaper says. It isn't clear exactly how authorities found the two, but the feds credited leads generated by media coverage and investigative work for their capture.

The disappearance of the three defendants led to fingerpointing among officials and a spotlight on a juror who disappeared before closing arguments in the case. But he has since reappeared and told U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy during a well-attended court hearing Wednesday that he was simply sick and recuperating at his girlfriend's house, where he didn't have court papers providing a call-in number, another Detroit News article reports.

He insisted, both in court and when questioned in the courthouse hallway by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent, that he had no contact with the missing defendants.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: "Feds raise reward to $7,500 per man for 3 who fled court before guilty verdict in major drug case"

Updated at 9:31 a.m. to correctly state the amount of money the defendants were found with.

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