HAMMOND | A Merrillville man admitted he played a role in a marijuana distribution ring Thursday, four years after being charged in federal court.
Malcolm Manuel signed a federal plea agreement stating he was guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute more than 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.
Manuel, also known as “Money Mike” and “M,” faces a minimum of five years in prison and fines up to $2 million. He could be sentenced to serve up to 40 years, according to the plea agreement.
The agreement states he will have to serve at least four years of supervised release.
He and 15 other people were charged in connection with the distribution ring in Oct. 2008.
Others charged in 2008 and 2009 with related offenses include: Samuel Carranza, of Lansing; Zatia Sain of Portage; Marcell Seawood, Steve Biggs, Alanden Johnson, Christopher Bynum, Ellis Bryant, all of Gary; Rigoberto Banuelos, of Lynwood and Dwayne Crawford, of Merrillville. Addresses weren't available for Pedro Rondan, Lashon Sain, Beverly Burks, Sandra McGuire or Jose Quiroz.
The ring allegedly made more than $450,000 from distributing marijuana and cocaine, according to court records.
Manuel also agreed to forfeit a revolver, a 2004 Chevrolet Corvette, a 2008 Infiniti and $125,881 received from the sale of his Merrillville home in the 200 block of W. 54th Ave. as part of the deal.