Mississippi man sentenced to 11 years for cocaine and money laundering conspiracies


Date: January 29, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Another member of a multi-state drug ring will be spending the rest of the decade behind bars. Lendarious Hayes, of Meridian, Mississippi, has been sentenced to 135 months (11 years and three months) in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and money laundering conspiracy. Hayes (aka "Lil Daddy") was one of 13 defendants named in a 13-count third superseding indictment returned by an East St. Louis grand jury in October 2019. One year later, he pled guilty to the two charges in which he was named.

The charged conspiracy to distribute cocaine took place from 2014 through 2018 and involved the distribution of cocaine between East St. Louis, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; Jackson, Mississippi; and other locations. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Hayes personally distributed at least 32 kilograms of cocaine throughout the country. Other couriers assisted in the distribution of cocaine for the same organization, totaling at least 360 kilograms of cocaine. Hayes was also charged with participating in a money laundering conspiracy, in which he directed the deposit and withdrawal of thousands of dollars of drug proceeds into a coconspirator's bank account, in order to disguise the nature of those funds.

The case against Hayes began in February 2019, when an earlier indictment charged him with just one count of participating in the cocaine distribution conspiracy. While out on bond, Hayes subsequently traveled without court permission to Houston, Texas, and later Lafayette, Louisiana, where he was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance in October 2019. Later that month, the money laundering conspiracy charge was added. Hayes was eventually brought back to the district by the U.S. Marshals Service in March 2020 and has been in federal custody ever since.

Hayes was just one of 13 defendants named in the third superseding indictment. Many of his co-defendants were also charged with distributing "ice," which is a highly pure form of methamphetamine. Eight co-defendants have already pleaded guilty, with four of them receiving prison sentences of more than 10 years.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

When his prison sentence is finished, Hayes will serve a 5-year term of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $200 fine.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Illinois State Police, and other law enforcement agencies.