CHARLOTTE, N.C (STL.News) A Charlotte federal jury has convicted Anthony Tommy Foster, 45, of Mokena, Illinois, of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute cocaine, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. presided over the two-day trial, which ended today.
U.S. Attorney Murray is joined in making today’s announcement by Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina; Chief Chad Hawkins of the Belmont Police Department; Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD); Chief Joseph D. Ramey of the Gaston County Police Department; Chief Travis Brittain of the City of Gastonia Police Department; Chief Don Roper of the Mt. Holly Police Department; and Michael Eiss of the Waxhaw Police Department.
According to filed court documents and evidence presented at trial, Foster was involved in a drug trafficking conspiracy with his two co-defendants, Reynaldo Padilla and Alejandro Padilla. Trial evidence established that on June 29, 2020, Reynaldo Padilla and Alejandro Padilla arranged the purchase of 20 kilograms of cocaine for $500,000. Trial evidence further established that Reynaldo Padilla and Alejandro Padilla met with Foster on the same day in Belmont, N.C. At that meeting, Foster handed Reynaldo Padilla a duffel bag that contained $500,000 in cash. According to trial evidence, the conspirators intended to make future purchases of 100 to 200 kilograms of cocaine, per transaction.
Both Reynaldo Padilla and Alejandro Padilla have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and are currently awaiting sentencing.
Foster is in federal custody. Foster is facing a sentence of 15 years to life in prison per charge, due to his prior federal drug trafficking conviction. A sentencing date for Foster has not been set.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked ICE-HSI, the Belmont Police Department, CMPD, the Gaston County Police Department, the City of Gastonia Police Department, the Mt. Holly Police Department, and the Waxhaw Police Department for the investigation and coordination in this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, is prosecuting the case.