An Akron husband and wife accused of running a lucrative drug operation that peddled fentanyl and carfentanil in Northeast Ohio will each spend more than a decade behind bars.
Donte Gibson, 41, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison Thursday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, while Audrey Gibson, 36, was sentenced to 10 years, 8 months.
“These two defendants were the leaders of a drug trafficking ring that used illegal weapons and brought large amounts of fentanyl and carfentanil into our neighborhoods, endangering the lives of so many in our community,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a press release.
Donte and Audrey Gibson both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and carfentanil and money laundering. Federal prosecutors agreed to drop numerous other charges. Their sentencing by Judge Patricia Gaughan was delayed several times because of various issues, including a dispute over items investigators seized.
The couple agreed to forfeit more than $250,000 in assets, two firearms, ammunition and their Akron home.
The couple brought large amounts of drugs into the United States from China and – with the help of others — sold them in Akron and Lorain. They also created companies and bought automobiles, jewelry, handbags, furs, shoes and other items as a way to launder their drug profits and fund a lavish lifestyle, prosecutors say.
The Gibsons were the last of nine people sentenced for this drug operation, with the penalties ranging from probation or house arrest to 10 years in prison.