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Michigan CEO who died two years ago allegedly lived double life as financier of a drug ring

The CEO of a Michigan company who died two years ago led a double life as the financier of international drug ring, a federal indictment has alleged.  

Marty Tibbitts died when the vintage fighter jet he was flying nosedived into a Wisconsin dairy barn in July 2018 just after takeoff, killing 50 cows as well.

Accusations have been made against him in a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) indictment which also reveals designs for ‘The Torpedo,’ a submarine that would have been used to transport cocaine around the world.

The explosive indictment was connected to an investigation of Illinois resident Ylli Didani, 43, who was allegedly in charge of a global drug ring that distributed cocaine in 15 countries.

Marty Tibbitts (pictured) allegedly financed an international drug ring before his death

Tibbitts (pictured with wife) was killed in a tragic plane accident back in July 2018

Tibbitts (pictured with wife) was killed in a tragic plane accident back in July 2018

Those countries are the United States, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, Chile, Albania, Turkey, Brazil, Germany, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands.  

Tibbitts, the CEO of Clementine Live Answering Service and avid pilot, was killed at the age of 50 when the vintage fighter jet he was flying crashed.

He was flying a rare 1957 de Havilland DH 112 Venom, a single-engine, single-seat fighter bomber. 

Two farm workers were injured in the crash, with one needing to be airlifted to a hospital.

Pictured: 644 kilograms of cocaine seized in February 2020 on a ship in the Netherlands. The transportation of the cocaine on the ship was allegedly financed by Didani's organization

Pictured: 644 kilograms of cocaine seized in February 2020 on a ship in the Netherlands. The transportation of the cocaine on the ship was allegedly financed by Didani’s organization

Pictured: A prototype of the submarine Didani allegedly hoped to use for the transportation of cocaine, which was built by the summer of 2018

Pictured: A prototype of the submarine Didani allegedly hoped to use for the transportation of cocaine, which was built by the summer of 2018

Pictured: Ylli Didani, who was arrested North Carolina on conspiracy to distribute charges

Pictured: Ylli Didani, who was arrested North Carolina on conspiracy to distribute charges

Tibbitts was survived by his wife, Belinda, two children, a stepdaughter, and his parents.

Didani was arrested in North Carolina this week on charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances on a boat in U.S. jurisdiction, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, as well as money laundering, according to The Daily Beast.

Didani is connected to Tibbitts – who went by code name ‘Dale Johnson’ for his alleged illicit activity – because they allegedly worked together on the submarine.

Tibbitts is not named in the complaint, but The Detroit News was able to identify him using the biographical information listed.

Tibbitts also allegedly financed Didani’s activities, beginning their partnership in 2015 and giving more than $1.8 million to the cartel, according to the indictment.

Tibbitts allegedly gave Didani’s cartel an $864,000 check in 2016, which may have been cashed at a pawn shop or gold exchange business.

The CEO also allegedly took a private plane to Washington D.C. to give Didani $350,000 during a clandestine late night meeting.

Marty Tibbitts (pictured with wife) is survived by his wife, two children, and a stepdaughter

Marty Tibbitts (pictured with wife) is survived by his wife, two children, and a stepdaughter

Tibbitts lost his life when the plane he was piloting nosedived into a Wisconsin barn

Tibbitts lost his life when the plane he was piloting nosedived into a Wisconsin barn

At one point, Didani was allegedly trying to transfer $117.6 million from a bank in Germany to a bank in Dubai, leading to a text to a co-conspirator that allegedly read, ‘Get with marty asap.’ It’s not immediately clear when the text was sent.

Allegations state Didani and Tibbitts pooled together over $12,000 via cryptocurrency and an Albanian bank account to pay a company to help develop the submarine, though the company was unaware of its purpose.

It was designed to be remote-controlled and attach to the hull of a cargo ship using a strong magnet.

A fishing boat would then be utilized to retrieve the submarine from the cargo hulls, along with the drugs inside.

A prototype of the submarine was even built by the summer of 2018, but the entire plan was allegedly scrapped, however, when Tibbitts died in a plane crash in 2018. 

Belinda and her lawyers could not be reached for comment by The Detroit News following the unsealing of the indictment. 

After his death, Didani allegedly struggled to find funding for his cartel, turning to a sponsor in the United Arab Emirates while hundreds of kilograms of cocaine were seized in separate busts in the Netherlands, leading to the downfall of his empire.

One of those busts in February 2020 led to the seizure of 644 kilograms of cocaine off a ship. 

According to The Detroit News, neighbors were shocked when they learned of the unsealed indictment involving Tibbitts.

‘I think anybody who would hear something like this would be shocked,’ said one neighbor.

‘I never got any hint of evil intent of anything, never,’ said friend Beverly Kindle-Walker.

Prior to his death, Tibbitts was living in Grosse Point Park, Michigan on Lake St. Clair.

His 12,000 square-foot home used to belong to a member of the Silver Bullet Band and was listed in November for $6.4 million.

Tibbitts was the CEO of a company and also founder of the World Heritage Aviation Museum in Detroit prior to the plane crash that took his life in July 2018 (accident pictured)

Tibbitts was the CEO of a company and also founder of the World Heritage Aviation Museum in Detroit prior to the plane crash that took his life in July 2018 (accident pictured)

He was also the founder of the World Heritage Aviation Museum in Detroit.

When he died, condolences came in from around the local community and the larger business world.

‘Marty was a joy,’ said friend and associate Joe Walker to the Detroit Free Press. ‘He was one of those visionaries in business, always had great vision, great ideas.’ 


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