Eight people charged in drug trafficking conspiracy, more resources to fight drugs in the Northland

Eight indicted on federal drug charges

Eight people face federal drug charges after a major investigation in the Twin Ports.

Eight members of a Chicago-based drug trafficking conspiracy have been indicted by the United States Attorney’s Office. Authorities say the group conspired to sell fentanyl and methamphetamine in Duluth and the surrounding areas.

Court documents identify the individuals as Carl Maurice Brown, 32, Robert Desean Chism, 35, Matthew James Erickson (aka “EZ), 35, Anthony Lenard Green, 34, Ezell Cordero Lucas (aka “Cash”), 32, Arreal Dominique Timberlake, 30, Deandre Michael Westmoreland, 35, and Pharoo Nasun Witherspoon, 35. According to authorities, Matthew Erickson is from Duluth and the seven other individuals are from Chicago. All of the suspects were charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Authorities say Lucas was identified as the leader of the conspiracy, and arranged fentanyl sales in Duluth and directed other members of the group to carry out transactions. The investigation spanned from December 2021 through February 2024.

More about war on drugs in the Northland and conspiracy case

Perspective about a recent drug case and new resources for the Duluth area.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says initial court appearances have begun in both Minnesota and Illinois judicial districts.

Also announced on Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney now has a full time prosecutor based in Duluth, which is a first for the office. It’s Nichole Carter, who used to work as a prosecutor in the St. Louis County Attorney’s office.

U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said he met with law enforcement at the end of last year, to hear what more could be done. And additional resources and the indictment are direct results from those conversations.