TEXARKANA, Texas – U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox announced that the Eastern District of Texas sentenced two Bowie County men.
Justin Rashad Young, a 31-year-old rapper and club promotor known as “Band-Aid,” was found guilty on June 25, 2020. He conspired with Joshea Cardwell to traffic methamphetamine and marijuana in Texarkana, and U.S. District Judge Schroeder sentenced him to 140 months in federal prison.
Cardwell, a 30-year-old known as “Too Tall,” pleaded guilty on June 4, 2020, to conspiring with Young and to possessing a firearm in furtherance of their drug conspiracy. Judge Schroeder sentenced Cardwell to 130 months in federal prison.
According to information presented in court, on June 28, 2017, police found Young and Cardwell in the Magnuson Hotel near North State Line Avenue in Texarkana, Texas, with more than 400 grams of methamphetamine, 1.6 kilograms of marijuana, drug distribution materials, and a Taurus 9 mm pistol. Earlier, someone had shot Young at a drug house of his on Waterman Street in Texarkana. On another occasion, he was found in possession of marijuana after he left another drug house. Evidence recovered from Young’s cell phones and Facebook account revealed that Young regularly possessed firearms connected with his drug business. At trial, a cooperating witness described how Cardwell and Young worked together for months to sell methamphetamine and marijuana, which Cardwell was buying from California.
A federal grand jury indicted young and Cardwell on Nov. 14, 2018, and again on July 24, 2019.
This case is a part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce un violence. It enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes to improve information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives when prohibited individuals attempt to purchase a firearm. It also is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to include taking appropriate actions when the NICS denies a prospective purchaser for mental health reasons. It ensures that federal resources aim at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case with support from the following Project Guardian partners: Special Operations Division of the Texarkana Texas Police Department, the Texarkana office of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Criminal Investigation Division, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan R. Hornok and Lucas R. Machicek are prosecuting the case.