Convicted murderer gets additional time for role in drug ring

A convicted murderer serving a life sentence in a state lockup was sentenced today in Los Angeles to over 15 years of federal time for running a drug ring that smuggled narcotics into the prison with the help of his son and the institution’s then-cook.

Lamont “Mont” Devault’s federal sentence will begin if he is paroled from his state prison term, which began in 2002. He will be eligible for parole from state prison in March 2031, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

After a three-day trial in February, a federal jury found 49-year-old Devault guilty of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and other controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

According to evidence presented at trial, Devault, an inmate at Centinela State Prison in Imperial County, in 2017 recruited his son and co-defendant, Lamont Devault II, 26, of Long Beach, to obtain narcotics outside the prison supplied by an associate of another inmate, co-defendant Steve “Risky” Bencom, 39, of East Los Angeles.

Devault’s son then supplied the drugs to co-defendant and then-prison cook Lance “Droop” Medina, 33, of El Centro, so that Medina could smuggle the drugs into the prison by concealing them in his underwear, according to prosecutors.

The elder Devault, who coordinated the conspiracy by using a contraband cell phone in prison, then oversaw the distribution of those drugs within the prison through other inmates, including co-defendant Deandre “Casper D” McIntosh, 43, of Long Beach.

In November 2017, Medina was caught allegedly smuggling nearly 54 grams of meth into the prison. Medina had another 131 grams of the drug and 91 grams of heroin at his home that he was planning to smuggle into the prison at Devault’s direction, prosecutors say.

Devault concealed the conspiracy’s illicit financial gains with the help of co-defendant LaShawn Anderson, 50, of Downey, then a civilian employee of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

On Jan. 27, Anderson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering. In her plea agreement, Anderson admitted that she conspired with Devault and others to launder the illicit proceeds. She is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 3, at which time she will face up to 20 years in federal prison.

Bencom pleaded guilty on Jan. 22 to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, consecutive to his state sentence, which he is serving for a robbery conviction.

McIntosh was found guilty at trial alongside Devault of one count of conspiracy to distribute meth and awaits a July 20 sentencing hearing, at which time he will face a mandatory minimum of five years in federal prison and a maximum of 40 years’ imprisonment.

The other defendants in the case have pleaded guilty to federal charges and are awaiting sentencing.

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