Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lock 'Em Down Records CEO Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges

Posted By on Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 10:11 AM


Earlier this year, Dewanzel "Jazz" Singleton, president and CEO of East St. Louis-based Lock 'Em Down Records was the subject of a feature story in the RFT. Singleton was arrested in August and faced felony charges of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

The DEA alleged that Lock 'Em Down Records was "financially supported by illegal drug proceeds."

At the time Singleton maintained his innocence.

Here’s an excerpt from that story, published January 9:

"Singleton, who has never been convicted of a crime in his life, has pleaded not guilty. He points out that the DEA has failed to produce any hard evidence: no cash, no drugs or paraphernalia. Despite being under heavy surveillance, he notes, he has never been seen conducting a single narcotics transaction. Though several DEA sources provided circumstantial evidence against him, not one claims to have purchased drugs from him or to have seen him sell drugs.

'If you caught me doing something wrong, then I can understand,' he says during an interview at a downtown St. Louis restaurant. 'OK, take me away, I got to pay my debt to society, that's the way it goes. But [they] haven't caught me with anything: no drugs, no money, no guns. Nothing.'

If the DEA's version of events is true, then Dewanzel Singleton led an improbable double life. And if he's innocent, Singleton is the victim of an equally astonishing string of coincidences, betrayals and poor judgment."

Last week, on the second day of his trial, Singleton changed his plea to guilty. Here is the text of his plea agreement.

According to a spokesman for the Northern District of Illinois federal prosecutor’s office, sentencing will be in August. Singleton faces a minimum of eight years in prison. On March 20, Singleton’s co-defendant, LaKeith Cross, pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy charges.

This document details the testimony and evidence prosecutors planned to use in the case. In addition to several recorded conversations between Singleton and convicted Chicago drug-lord and gang leader, a man named Carlos Darough was prepared to testify that he saw someone purchase nine ounces of crack cocaine from Singleton.

Singleton’s attorney did not return calls seeking comment on the plea agreement.

-Keegan Hamilton

Tags: , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 9, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation