Ex-SMU Frat Brothers Headed to Federal Prison for Hydroponic Marijuana Growing Scheme

Categories: Crime, Drugs, Weed

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DEA
The house on Allencrest Lane -- a tidy four-bedroom, three-bath ranch-style in North Dallas -- isn't the first place one would look for a weed-growing mastermind named Bone.

Nevertheless, that's where DEA agents tracked down 37-year-old Brian Edward Deloney in June 2010, not to mention several gallon-sized bags of hydroponic weed, nearly a dozen live marijuana plants under fluorescent lights, and a Tupperware container full of cash.

Deloney was arrested and gave investigators a key to 7702 Morton Street, a modest house a stone's throw from Highland Park entirely devoted to cultivating weed. Inside, they found 92 live marijuana plants and an elaborate setup of hydroponic growing equipment.

See also: A Hydroponic Gardening Supplier Was Selling to Pot Growers, So the Feds Nailed Him on Tax Charges

"The rest of the residence was not occupied," they wrote at the time. "With the exception of a single chair, there was no other furniture inside the residence."

There were other houses, too, or there had been. Two were on the same block of Richmond Avenue near Knox/Henderson. One was on San Fernando Way in Little Forest Hills. One was in Richardson. The rest, 11 in all, were scattered in middle class neighborhoods in Far North Dallas.

The operation was too big for one man to handle by himself, and federal agents soon identified five co-conspirators. Jeremy Cash McElroy, 37; Louis Michael Olerio Jr., 36; Eric Irving Love, 35; and Jeffrey Scott Gannon, 34 had been frat brothers at SMU. (According to Olerio's LinkedIn account, they were Pi Kappa Alpha). Another man, 39-year-old Stephen Ray Willeford, was also involved.

According to the feds, the men started their operation around 2004. Much of the horticultural work was done by the frat brothers and Willeford, who ultimately delivered the highly potent weed to Deloney for distribution.

At one point, McElroy decided to distance himself from the day-to-day operation and transferred two of the grow houses to Olerio. In exchange, he got a 20-percent cut of the weed that was grown there.

Once Deloney was arrested, the conspiracy came to an abrupt halt. The six men ultimately pleaded guilty to various federal charges; Deloney received the lightest sentence, getting 18 months for maintaining a drug-involved premises. Love, Gannon, and Willeford got between 24 and 30 months for conspiring to maintain a drug-involved premises. McElroy and Olerio are both going to prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering stemming from the way they arranged the sale of McElroy's houses. Olerio got two years, McElroy three.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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150 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Why wasn't this prosecuted by the State and not the Feds ??



strangetamer
strangetamer

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away...


A vast sea of stars serves as the backdrop for the main
title. War drums echo through the heavens as a rollup
slowly crawls into infinity.


It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a
hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic
Empire.
During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the
Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star, an armored space station
with enough power to destroy an entire planet.
Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Princess Leia races home
aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her
people and restore freedom to the galaxy...


The awesome yellow planet of Tatooine emerges from a total
eclipse, her two moons glowing against the darkness. A tiny
silver spacecraft, a Rebel Blockade Runner firing lasers from
the back of the ship, races through space. It is pursed by a
giant Imperial Stardestroyer. Hundreds of deadly laserbolts
streak from the Imperial Stardestroyer, causing the main solar
fin of the Rebel craft to disintegrate.

anonymouss
anonymouss

The author is deliberately trying to paint a bad picture regarding fraternity men at SMU when it is a completely irrelevant detail. I don't go to SMU so my opinion isn't biased in their direction but it's sad to see this kind of journalism. 

anonymous
anonymous

So judging by the fact that they're in their late 30's, why the heck does it matter that they were fraternity brothers?  This article is titled in such a way that the author is hoping to make people think SMU undergrads committed the crime.  Disgusting and unfair, Eric Nicholson.  How about "Men Arrested for Marijuana..."  How about you write an article that gains interest for its content and not for its attempt to blackmail SMU students who have no affiliation with this arrest?


kevinscott0323
kevinscott0323

I worked for lou olerio for years with one of his companies i can't believe this

scerinjen3
scerinjen3

There's an interesting article posted on Yahoo's home page today that exposes the issue of how unregulated 'medical' marijuana is, and how many raw contaminants were found in 93% of the weed sampled that was being sold as 'medical.'  Simple facts.  Stuff like e-coli, mold, pesticides, insects, etc. All this crap, in what's arguably already crap, with regard to unknown chemicals and carcinogens.  But what's really hilarious is the comments! Go read the comments.  Holy shit! Shrill cries of propoganda and sputtering.  "But but alcohol..., but tobacco..." That's when it hit me and I think I understand this now.  It's a religion.  To criticize this stuff for many people is an act of heresy.  It's a matter of sprituality - a right to worship.  That's why whenever I make a negative comment about marijuana or suggest legalization might not be a good idea I get called a fascist, an idiot, a racist, etc.  I get it now!  I may as well be saying the Virgin Mary had herpes or Mohammad was a homo.  I'm sorry.      

CloeOwns
CloeOwns

Go catch the real criminals!

Obummer
Obummer

Yo let muh bros go; da just be ah unlicensed pharmacists.

Threeboys
Threeboys

That sounds like my house on Allencrest. Anyone have an address?

JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

Can someone explain the whole weed thing to me? Why is it such a big deal to get upset about? The arguments about legalization aside, it is illegal and everyone knows it. What makes it so great and what is it in people's lives that make them risk jail for it? I really don't get it.

strangetamer
strangetamer

INTERIOR: REBEL BLOCKADE RUNNER -- MAIN PASSAGEWAY.


An explosion rocks the ship as two robots, Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2)
and See-Threepio (C-3PO) struggle to make their way through the
shaking, bouncing passageway. Both robots are old and battered.
Artoo is a short, claw-armed tripod. His face is a mass of
computer lights surrounding a radar eye. Threepio, on the
other hand, is a tall, slender robot of human proportions. He
has a gleaming bronze-like metallic surface of an Art Deco
design.
Another blast shakes them as they struggle along their
way.

THREEPIO: Did you hear that? They've shut down the main reactor. We'll
be destroyed for sure. This is madness!

Rebel troopers rush past the robots and take up positions
in the main passageway. They aim their weapons toward the door.

THREEPIO: We're doomed!

The little R2 unit makes a series of electronic sounds that
only another robot could understand.

THREEPIO: There'll be no escape for the Princess this time.

Artoo continues making beeping sounds. Tension mounts as
loud metallic latches clank and the scream of heavy equipment
are heard moving around the outside hull of the ship.

THREEPIO: What's that?

EXTERIOR: SPACECRAFT IN SPACE.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @anonymouss "I don't go to SMU so my opinion ..."

... is utterly irrelevant.



jjrugger
jjrugger

@anonymous looks like a low tier journalist trying to stir the pot and leech off other unrelated and irrelevant controversies. People will do anything to make a career, even if it means ditching real journalism and misleading readership

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @scerinjen3 "Stuff like e-coli, mold, pesticides, insects, etc. "


... same shit that on many of the vegetables you eat.


shredder665
shredder665

@scerinjen3 Cannabis is not a religion. Some people make a religion to get around the law, but you are just uneducated. Would you care to talk with me about the different medicinal effects of mono, di or sesquiterpenes, found in thousands of other plants besides cannabis, unknowning one? 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@scerinjen3 

You're not sorry and you really don't get it

That's OK, because you and your like minded voters and supporters of the frivolous and hugely wasteful War on Weed have had your day. All you did was ruin a countless lives and waste countless billions of dollars that could have been better spent on awareness and rehabilitation from other, dangerous drugs.

This is not rocket science, it makes sense even from the "lesser evil" standpoint -Even if you don't want weed legal, can't you at least admit that prohibition always causes more problems than it solves?

shredder665
shredder665

@JohnSmallBerries It cures cancer, and if you want more proof, google "700 studies cannabis by disease" If you don't want to do it, then you're just living in the dark. For every study that says "cannabis is bad" ten get published that disprove prior psuedoscience bullshit.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@JohnSmallBerries 

People want to smoke weed - Where there is a demand for a product, the market will supply product to fill that need.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and all that.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

@JohnSmallBerries"what is it in people's lives that make them risk jail for it?" Money.  The interesting question is how they were caught: narc, electricity usage, smell, or old fashioned dime dropping.

The real question is why do law enforcement waste their efforts on marijuana at all?

strangetamer
strangetamer

@TheCredibleHulk @scerinjen3 I don't know what the Goddamned problem is. Maybe you all don't know serious tooth decay is, maybe you all just don't give a fuck. You all probably think you can live your lives cavity-free,

scerinjen3
scerinjen3

@TheCredibleHulk - that's a good question.  You don't think the war has been worth it and I can understand that point.  It may be the pro-pot peoples best argument.  It's been expensive. True.  But overall yes - the war on drugs has been worth it. No telling how many lives have been saved. If we're just talking weed - it's debatable.  I'm going to take the anti-pot, 'keep on fighting' position.  I honestly believe it's that bad.

As far as 'prohibition' goes, are you talking about prohibition of weed, alcohol, hard drugs, prostitution, gambling, cock fighting? What are we talking about here?  

TheInternetizen
TheInternetizen

@primi_timpano @JohnSmallBerries Because they get to take ownership of all the assets, aka legal theft, and then parade around the town calling themselves saviors of the world. They don't care that the average person is only rolling their eyes at their corruption.

JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

@primi_timpano @JohnSmallBerries I wasn't so much asking why people want to sell it.

Why do people make the decision to smoke it and carry it knowing full well they may get arrested and charged?

I don't get it. What does it provide that makes that calculation worth it? It isn't necessary for life and limb. (Don't go into the medical pot thing. Most of the pot demand over history isn't medical despite the fact that it probably has medical benefits.) There are lots of things that one can argue do little harm and that are illegal but people don't have such passion to risk legal entanglements. Why pot? 



billypoop
billypoop

@primi_timpano @JohnSmallBerries The private prison systems draw up contracts where if certain prisoner quotas aren't met, they receive tax money in return.  Therefore, those quotas are levied on local law enforcement to keep people coming.  It's a shame this wasn't in a low income neighborhood, they could have sent everyone involved away for 10-15.

OddParity
OddParity

@primi_timpano @JohnSmallBerries "The real question is why do law enforcement waste their efforts on marijuana at all?" Job protection and catching harmless non-violent criminals is easier then catching real criminals.  

shredder665
shredder665

@scerinjen3 We're talking about the only one that is pretty much under prohibition worldwide, if you can't mentally keep up, uneducated one. Cannabis.

shredder665
shredder665

@scerinjen3 No. You are just stupid, and completely unenlightened. If you think this plant is bad, you agree with the RACIST terms this plant was banned on. The scientific fact is not in your favor. it is completely against everything you've said. You are a sheep in wolves' clothing, and completely unenlightened. This plant has apoptotic and antimetatstatic substances, which you will have to go google to know the meaning of. Please, do yourself a favor, and get a real education, and stop comparing a plant to fervorous religion. You are completely, and 100% wrong.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@scerinjen3 

Yes to all of your examples save cock-fighting. Prohibition of each of those examples of human behavior has driven those practices underground and into the hands of criminals with horrible consequences for society - far worse than whatever imagined ills may come from legalizing and regulating them.

Take weed for example: The prohibition of that relatively harmless substance has produced an entire global industry trying to manufacture a synthetic substitute which has resulted in far more and more dangerous drugs in the marketplace. Google: Spice and the Chinese manufacturers that are flooding our shores with these dangerous substances.

Human nature will not be denied. 

TheInternetizen
TheInternetizen

@scerinjen3 Lmao, "dope". Is that your catchall word to intentionally conflate cannabis with meth heads/heroin users/etc. who commit crimes to fuel their addictions?

It seems your belief system is constructed on layers of false equivalencies and other forms of fallacy.

scerinjen3
scerinjen3

@alteredjustice - all you had to say is "I disagree - the war has not been worth it." But you're angry because you think I've pissed on your alter, hence the paranoid cop hating vast right wing conspiracy tirade and the passive aggressive assertion that I sound like an idiot.  You actually said the war on drugs is an excuse for the government to murder and steal. Really?  You know who murders and steals? Dope addicts.    

alteredjustice
alteredjustice

@scerinjen3 "No telling how many lives have been saved."

0, and many murdered due to unnecessary SWAT team raids on houses which may or may not actually contain Mary Jane. The War on Drugs is just an excuse to steal people's property as "evidence" and make it look like the police are accomplishing something since they can't solve actual crimes (rape, murder, etc.). The negatives of the War on Drugs far outweigh the dubious positives.

Going on and on about how you were victimized on some other forum just makes you sound like an idiot who can't form a proper argument. 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@JohnSmallBerries @TheCredibleHulk 

Have it your way.

You posed a question, I tried to provide you with some insight into why this particular law inspires millions of people to disregard the possible negative consequences and indulge anyway.

JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

@TheCredibleHulk Oh I see "People do action A despite risk X which has far greater long term negative consequences than the benefits of action A. How do we explain this risk taking?" is not a "valid question" (whatever that means).

That's brilliant. Your answer anyway is that some college student is out there getting stoned with his friends despite the risk because "banning of this substance grates at [his] sense of fairness because it is benign..."

Sorry but all the stoners I have known in my lifetime were not driven to get stoned by some political underpinning about getting stoned.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@JohnSmallBerries @TheCredibleHulk @no005 

It's not a valid question, but, here is your answer, anyway, from my above post:

The banning of this substance grates at peoples sense of fairness because it is benign - in that my ingestion of said substance in no way hurts or hinders your ability to live the live that you choose. 

That is why I think that people will continue to smoke weed despite the risk that it poses for them.

JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

@TheCredibleHulk @JohnSmallBerries @no005

I'm not going to get bogged down in some theoretical argument that explains why smoking a joint isn't the same as free speech.

There is really no point is discussing a question you don't want to even entertain let alone answer.


TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@JohnSmallBerries @no005 @TheCredibleHulk 

Look, I reference the legality aspect  because it is pertinent to what we are discussing, and here's why: You brought up the right to free speech earlier and to me, this is as fundamental as that.

People continue to use marijuana and likewise, continued to use alcohol while it was banned because I think that people understand that it is a fundamental right to do as they wish with their body.

The banning of this substance grates at peoples sense of fairness because it is benign - in that my ingestion of said substance in no way hurts or hinders your ability to live the live that you choose.

It is not helpful to answer your question: "Why do people choose not to follow (ridiculous and counterproductive) laws when they know they'll get in trouble?"  because the premise of the question is moot and smacks of the authoritarian mindset that got us into this situation to start with.

JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

@no005 @JohnSmallBerries @TheCredibleHulk I think your response is reasonable and unlike a few who want to argue about its legality, you seem to have understood what I was asking. If pot were legal or resulted in, say, a traffic ticket level offense then I would think these are comparable.

Those you named have more ready explanations. 

Underage sex is sex and that is a base animal impulse built into humans by evolution. Not so for pot smoking. 

Driving drunk is explainable because someone has their rational functioning impaired. That doesn't excuse it, but it explains it. Pot isn't addictive so it's not like other drugs where people will do whatever to get their fix.

Downloading illegal music is a civil issue. I don't see widespread playing with fireworks or taking adderall without a prescription.



no005
no005

@JohnSmallBerries @TheCredibleHulk "Why do people take this known risk when there is such little benefit to it? Smoking a joint is of no long term benefit in that you stoned for a while and it is over. However getting arrested with it could have significant negative impact on someone's life for a long time. It is that decision making I don't get. "

I would argue that good parenting goes a long way in building one's ability to make rational and logical decisions.  In parallel, would you put 'smoking a joint' in the same category as driving drunk?  Having underage sex?  Downloading illegal music?  Playing with fireworks?  Taking Adderrall without a prescription?  

(All things done for immediate gratification but with potential long term consequences if caught) 



JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

@TheCredibleHulk @JohnSmallBerries  I guess it isn't that simple when you don't address the question that was actually asked.

Perhaps you missed the part where I said, "my question did not involve whether or not pot ought to be legal," and "
The arguments about legalization aside..." 

People generally speaking aren't going around getting stoned to make some political statement about the legality of getting stoned. The question is based on the facts as they are now. i.e. pot is illegal here and in most states. Not some desire or question about how some think things ought to be.

Why do people take this known risk when there is such little benefit to it? Smoking a joint is of no long term benefit in that you stoned for a while and it is over. However getting arrested with it could have significant negative impact on someone's life for a long time. It is that decision making I don't get. 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@JohnSmallBerries @TheCredibleHulk 

So alcohol is legal because it gets "grandfathered" due to its association to mankind in antiquity?

LOL - Do you think that mankind just discovered cannabis in the 1960's, or something?

The fact that we demand legal access to alcohol is pertinent in this conversation precisely because "Do-Gooders" tried to prohibit alcohol before with disastrous results for the American public at large. It didn't work very well because we want what we want when we want it and people will have what they want regardless of the law or the consequences.

In short:  We demand legal access to alcohol (and weed) because we enjoy getting fucked up.

It's pretty simple.

JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

@TheCredibleHulk @JohnSmallBerries "Why do you suppose, given all of the evidence that alcohol is a potentially family ruining, career ruining and terribly addictive liferuining drug, that we as a society still demand legal access to it?"

Because alcohol has been part of almost every human civilization since the dawn of farming, that is why. So while it may be "potentially family ruining.... etc", the entirety of human civilizations have marched on, excelled, fallen, done great things, and hideous things despite these facts. (BTW, my question did not involve whether or not pot ought to be legal or "demanding legal access.")

So that question is fairly easy to answer. It isn't the same as other things that are or have been illegal. We can understand risking jail time to vote or to speak politically aloud. Chuck got closer to an answer, but I still don't understand the disproportionate desire to get stoned while risking long term legal issues including jail time. 


TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@JohnSmallBerries @TheCredibleHulk

My point is this: Feel free to ask, however,  the color of the sky will not change in response. Some things just "are".

 Why do you suppose, given all of the evidence that alcohol is a potentially family ruining, career ruining and terribly addictive life ruining drug, that we as a society still demand legal access to it?

Humans have a well documented natural propensity to want to alter our consciousness - we're just wired that way.

Chuck31
Chuck31

@JohnSmallBerries @TheCredibleHulk I see what you mean, why take the risk?  I would venture to guess the same reason why people go to a Cowboys game have 5 beers and drive home. Why do people drive 85mph on the North Dallas Tollway? Some people always choose reward over risk. And if you've got a hangover after driving fast and drunk, then pot is a good remedy. :)

JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

@TheCredibleHulk @JohnSmallBerries and why not ask why the sky is blue? It is a reasonable question with a perfectly reasonable answer. I am not so lacking in intellectual curiosity as to simply ignore an obvious question.

TheInternetizen
TheInternetizen

@JohnSmallBerries @primi_timpano Why not? People enjoy it. There is no  legitimate reason it should be illegal when weighed against everything else that is legal. It is only illegal due to it's classification at a Schedule I drug, which is itself a baseless and incorrect classification. As the senior citizen, hippie hating, red scare types die off, especially in congress, these paranoia and prejudice based fallacies will fall apart and legal status will happen.

And that is only possible because the average person refuses the dictatorial nature of cannabis illegality.

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