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Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s chief of staff and her husband, who is charged with smuggling cocaine into the country, lived an “opulent lifestyle” that included extravagant shopping sprees at Christian Louboutin and a bank account bulging with hundreds of thousands in cash, according to prosecutors.
“The defendant and his wife’s financial records also reflect extravagant purchases from luxury designers and significant, unexplained wealth,” Brooklyn federal prosecutors wrote of Orlando Dennis, 31, and Jevonni Brooks-Dennis in a motion to introduce the damning evidence at trial.
In less than two years, Dennis blew $12,000 at Christian Louboutin, more than $1,500 at Gucci, more than $1,300 at Burberry and more than $1,000 each at Louis Vuitton, Moschino and Prada.
Since 2018, Brooks-Dennis spent $7,000 at Christian Louboutin and nearly $9,000 in hair extensions in a single year, according to the filing that includes photos posted to Instagram of the couple displaying their expensive attire.
“In several photographs, the defendant is depicted lifting his foot to display the signature red sole commonly associated with luxury shoe designer Christian Louboutin,” wrote Assistant US Attorney Jonathan Siegel.
In one snap, Dennis refers to his clothes as “Cocaine white” and captioned another, “Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Real Rich.”
Dennis, a delivery truck driver earning approximately $25,000 a year, made more than 630 cash deposits into his Chase bank accounts totaling over $600,000 from 2015 to 2019, court papers allege.
He broke up his deposits into small amounts — “a method often employed to evade currency reporting requirements,” court filing say.
In a two-day period, Dennis and his wife deposited more than $15,000 in cash at multiple ATMs, according to the motion. The windfall couldn’t be explained by Brooks-Dennis’ government salary, which was $149,042 in 2019, according to the filing and records.
Dennis was busted at the airport in January after he and his wife had just returned from a trip to Jamaica.
He was charged with conspiring with two baggage handlers to smuggle 3 kilos of cocaine from a dealer on the Caribbean island.
The narcotics trafficking scheme began unraveling nearly a year prior in June 2019, when the Department of Homeland Security discovered an unclaimed roller bag at a carousel with a purple bandana tied to the handles that contained $100,000 in cocaine.
One of Dennis’ alleged co-conspirators, former Swissport cargo airport staffer Ryan Smalling, allegedly missed the bag that had arrived on a flight from Jamaica because he was yapping on his phone, court papers allege.
A panicked Dennis accused Smalling of stealing the drugs and allegedly threatened him, calling him at least 18 times. Smalling replied by text, “If them kill me them kill but I don’t have yall things.”
Smalling and another co-conspirator, Swissport cargo airport baggage handler William Brown, pleaded guilty to drug importation charges and are awaiting sentencing.
Dennis has pleaded not guilty and is out on $150,000 bond. Brooks-Dennis is not charged in the scheme.
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