EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A federal judge has sentenced the ringleader of a cocaine trafficking operation with ties to Missouri, Illinois and several other states.

Samuel Ruben Caraway, 46, was sentenced to 30 years in prison and five years of supervised release for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy. Investigators say that resulted in the seizure of $1.2 million dollars in cash, $72,000 in jewelry, and several kilos of cocaine.

According to an indictment filed in January 2018, Caraway was the leader of a Houston-based group responsible for distributing more than $4 million worth of cocaine throughout Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Georgia. Caraway is one of nine sentenced in the operation, which investigators say ended up with 120 kilos of cocaine being distributed in southern Illinois.

Caraway was captured in Texas in July 2021 after being a fugitive for more than three and a half 
years. The investigation led federal authorities to $1.2 million in U.S. currency and jewelry appraised at $72,000.

Prosecution spanned several states for more than five years. Eight others convicted in the investigation were sentenced to anywhere from four and 22 years in federal prison.