A Georgia man has been sentenced to serve nearly two decades in prison for smuggling cocaine in children’s toys through the United States Postal Service. According to Patch.com, Marlon Matthew Pittman was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
According to reports Pittman, 45, will also have to serve eight years on probation and give up the home he purchased using drug money.
Pittman, who pleaded guilty in August on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and conspiracy to commit money laundering, was reportedly the last of three men convicted of operating a money- and drug-smuggling ring through the mail.
Pittman along with Vladimir Collazo-Florido, 44, and Carlos Gonzalez-Catala, 42, of Puerto Rico hid cocaine inside children’s toys and powdered milk cans and shipped those items from the U.S. territory to Atlanta. All three men were previously convicted on federal drug trafficking charges.
“These drug smugglers endangered countless people from Puerto Rico to Atlanta and beyond,” U.S. Attorney BJay Pak told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Ironically, it was the money laundering scheme they created to hide their criminal enterprise that first caught the attention of investigators and led to their downfall.”
According to prosecutors, investigators noticed “suspicious financial activity” at an Atlanta car rental business and an unusual pattern of money order purchases in 2012.