DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Seven months after a massive drug bust shut down the Han Gil Hotel Town, two men were sentenced to 30 years each in prison for dealing drugs there.
Eric Dewayne Freeman, aka “Stuff,” pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Freeman was sentenced Friday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Karen Gren Scholer alongside coconspirator Kendrick Lamel Washington, aka “Kiki,” who pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Washington was also sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.
Freeman, 44, and Washington, 40, are two of fifteen defendants who have pleaded guilty in the Han Gil Hotel Town case, which has so far resulted in charges against 22 individuals and one corporation associated with the notoriously dangerous hotel.
Prosecutors said the hotel, which is less than a mile from Herbert Marcus Elementary, was a “breeding ground for escalating criminal activity” as it served as a base for drug dealers.
“In the seven months since the feds shuttered the Han Gil, defendants have confirmed what we already knew from our investigation – that the hotel was a haven for drug dealers, human traffickers, and violent criminals,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “Two of the Han Gil’s most notorious dealers will spend decades behind bars, where they can no longer peddle the substances that have already shattered so many lives.”
“The DEA will pursue investigations, much like the Han Gil Hotel case, until these places are extinct,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Division Clyde E. Shelley, Jr.
In plea papers, Freeman and Washington both admitted that they and other dealers routinely used so-called “trap rooms” within the Han Gil Hotel to peddle and distribute heroin, methamphetamine and crack cocaine to numerous customers. Users often smoked or injected the drugs on hotel premises, which lay within 1000 feet of Dallas’ Herbert Marcus Elementary School.
Washington admitted that he acted as Freeman’s enforcer, using tactics “designed to instill fear” in individuals Freeman believed had stolen from him or owed him money. In December 2018, Washington used a cell phone to record Freeman torturing a young woman with a butane torch, then showed the video to numerous people inside the hotel.
Freeman, meanwhile, admitted that multiple drug overdoses occurred in Han Gil Hotel rooms during the time the conspiracy was ongoing. The bodies of some of those victims were removed from the hotel and dumped elsewhere. DEA agents discovered the corpse of a twenty year-old female victim who died in December 2018 decomposing in Boren-Hilseweck Park in Oak Cliff almost a month after Freeman and two others carried her body out of the hotel. Law enforcement agents in Coppell, Texas also tied the heroin overdose deaths of two Coppell residents that died in June and July 2018 back to the Han Gil Hotel.
Freeman also admitted the owner of the Han Gil Hotel, codefendant Su Y. Amos Mun, was aware that multiple armed drug dealers were using the hotel to distribute drugs to hundreds of customers. He said Mun charged dealers an inflated room rate, dubbed a “drug tax,” in exchange for allowing them to openly deal out of trap rooms. Mun collected thousands of dollars from Freeman alone, and often tipped off dealers before law enforcement or city officials arrived for inspections, Freeman said in his plea papers.
Mun, 64, pleaded guilty in August to maintaining a drug involved premises, admitting that for more than a year, he profited off dealers openly selling quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and other drugs from inside his hotel rooms.
As part of his plea agreement, Mun agreed to forfeit the Han Gil Hotel, which is also the subject of a civil action filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleging the site functioned as a “safe haven for drug distributors” and a “breeding ground for escalating criminal activity.”
The hotel has been shuttered since March 2019, when a federal judge granted prosecutors’ motion for a restraining order prohibiting the hotel’s further operation and a task force of more than 50 agents and officers, accompanied by several attorneys, converged on the Han Gil to effect arrests, execute search warrants, and post notices requiring the immediate clearing of the premises.