Couple who orchestrated drug deals from state prison sentenced to federal prison

Couple who orchestrated drug deals from state prison sentenced to federal prison

(As originally published with additional photos, Tue, December 19th 2023)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (TND) — An inmate in a South Carolina prison is headed to federal prison for what he did using contraband cellphones, and his codefendant is, as well.

Zachariah Ryan Luke was locked up for “various drug and firearm offenses” in November 2021, and federal prosecutors said he used the phones to communicate with Evin Rae Davenport, “who assisted him in acquiring and selling illegal drugs on the street.”

They said he directed her to get drugs to a Florida-based dealer three times.

One of those times, outside a store in South Carolina, involved about a kilogram of methamphetamine. Then, back in St. Augustine, the dealer was pulled over for a traffic violation but instead led deputies on a chase.

The pilot of a police helicopter monitoring the chase saw “an object being thrown from the car and directed another deputy” who then found a backpack with “approximately 985.6 grams of crystal methamphetamine that laboratory testing would later show was 100% pure.”

The dealer was eventually arrested and corrections officers “seized multiple cellphones from Luke, which he was prohibited from possessing in prison.

Couple who orchestrated drug deals from state prison sentenced to federal prison
Zachariah Ryan Luke and Evin Rae Davenport pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute, and possess with the intent to distribute, 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. (S.C. Dept. of Corrections)

“Investigators searched those phones and recovered text communications with both Davenport and the Florida-based dealer, concerning when, where, and from whom drugs were to be supplied and delivered.”

Luke, 28, pleaded guilty in August; Davenport, 32, did so in September; and the dealer was not named.

Luke got 15 years and 8 months for conspiracy to distribute, and possess with the intent to distribute, 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.

Davenport got 12 years for the same offense at the same hearing.

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