— Dayton rap artist Clarence “Chaos” (aka “CCSERVA”) Winn Jr. will spend at least five years in prison for a federal drug trafficking charge.
The “Diamond Cut” group member pleaded guilty Tuesday in Dayton’s U.S. District Court to one of six drug- and gun-related counts on which he was indicted. Winn will be sentenced Sept. 12.
In exchange for Winn pleading guilty to distributing 10 or more grams of acrylfentanyl, federal prosecutors will drop the other five counts related to conspiracy and distribution of fentanyl, carfentanil, acrylfentanyl, heroin and one gun charge.
Wearing orange Shelby County Jail clothing, Winn, 36, said “guilty” when asked for his plea by U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice.
The charge to which Winn pleaded guilty calls for a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison, plus supervised release from four years to life and a possible fine of up to $5 million.
Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion said Winn’s non-binding, advisory guidelines call for a sentence from 97 to 121 months or eight years and one month to 10 years and one month.
Rion said that range is not binding on Rice.
“The court could consider a lot of good things that Clarence has done in the community prior to this and even during this time,” Rion said. “Somewhere between five and eight years I think would be fair in this case.”
Efforts to get comment from the case’s federal prosecutor were unsuccessful.
Winn has been in Montgomery County Jail since being arrested in March 2017. Rion had argued for pretrial release.
Winn’s brother, Larry, pleaded guilty and will be sentenced next week to at least 10 years in prison. The other Diamond Cut co-defendant, Darrius “Tay” Reynolds, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for a minor role related to transporting drugs.
Rice said that, beginnnig on an unknown date but at least from November 2016 until March 22, 2017, Winn and his co-defendants knowingly had and distributed bulk amounts of opioids in southern Ohio and West Virginia.
Rice said large amounts of drugs were obtained, divided and repackaged for sale to other drug dealers from Dayton to Charleston, W.Va.
Police said Winn, Larry Winn and Reynolds were arrested in March 2017 with four pounds of fentanyl, cash, guns and 10 “upscale” vehicles at search warrant raids at four locations in Dayton and Trotwood.
The raid was conducted by the Regional Agencies Narcotics & Gun Enforcement (RANGE) Task Force along with an FBI SWAT team. The drugs seized have a street value of about $160,000, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer has said.
When asked for his employment history, Winn told Rice he had worked at places such as UPS, Burger King, TNT Logistics, the Boys and Girls Club and that he’s been an artist and author.
Rion has said Winn has helped “his community through efforts such as feeding the homeless and distributing personal items, toys and clothes to those in need.”
A pre-sentence report will be completed before Rice decides on Winn’s sentence.
“Clarence Winn accepted full responsibility for his actions and entered a plea of guilty to the charge,” Rion said. “He did that because he felt he was guilty. He wanted to give back to the community.”