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Michigan man accused of drug conspiracy and pandemic unemployment insurance fraud of $2.1 million gets 15 years

Michigan – On Wednesday, a 41-year-old man from Michigan got a 15-year sentence in a federal prison for leading a group that moved methamphetamine across the country. This news was shared by Dawn N. Ison, the United States Attorney. The judge, David M. Lawson, gave this sentence because the man was in charge of the drug group and also involved in a separate scam involving $2.1 million in pandemic unemployment insurance.

The suspect was in charge of the drug conspiracy scheme

This man, Robert Lampkin, was at the head of a scheme that bought more than 9 kilograms of methamphetamine from a source in California. His associates, JoShawn Bennett (37), Tiffany Stockman (24), and Tammie Wade (32), transported the drugs to Michigan in their airline bags.

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Additionally, Lampkin and another person involved, Brenden Lockridge (26), used other people’s personal details to make false claims for pandemic unemployment help in various states. Both Lampkin and Lockridge have been ordered to return the $2.1 million they illegally took from these states as a part of their punishment.

Robert Lampkin from Michigan was sentenced to 15 years for drug conspiracy and pandemic unemployment insurance fraud of $2.1 million

“We will use every resource available to combat those who spread the scourge of illegal drugs in our communities,” stated United States Attorney Dawn Ison.  “We also won’t cease our efforts to hold accountable those who used a global pandemic to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers.”

“The men and women of the DEA and our law enforcement partners remain committed to targeting interstate methamphetamine traffickers contributing to the nation’s drug crisis. This sentence reflects our continued resolve to partner with all our law-enforcement counterparts to fight greed, violence, and drug addiction,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene.

“Robert Lampkin conspired with Brenden Lockridge to file fraudulent unemployment insurance (UI) claims in the names of identity theft victims, receiving benefits to which they were not entitled. They enriched themselves by defrauding a program that was intended to assist struggling American workers during an unprecedented global pandemic,” stated Special Agent-in-Charge Irene Lindow, Great Lakes Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.

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The fight against pandemic benefits fraud continues

“We and our law enforcement partners are committed to identifying and prosecuting the criminals who took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by using stolen identities to fraudulently obtain pandemic UI benefits,” Lindow added.

This investigation was carried out by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General. The case was brought to court by Assistant United States Attorney Paul Kuebler.

The efforts to prosecute this case are part of a bigger project called the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). This initiative aims to find and break down major drug dealers, money launderers, gangs, and international crime groups that pose a threat to the United States. It uses a strategy where prosecutors lead and use information from different law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, combining their strengths to tackle these criminal networks.

The announcement of this case’s results was made together by Dawn N. Ison, the United States Attorney, Orville O. Greene, the head of the Detroit Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Irene Lindow, who is in charge of the Great Lakes Region for the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

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The 41-year-old Robert Lampkin is from Detroit.