In documents unsealed Thursday, federal prosecutors said telecommunications CEO Marty Tibbitts was allegedly funding an international drug ring.
Clementine Live Answering Service CEO Marty Tibbitts was an ambitious man. And according to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday, that ambition spread across 15 countries — and included plans for an innovative drug-running submarine.
According to the report, 43-year-old Ylli Didani was the kingpin of a massive global cocaine ring, but his indictment revealed a far stranger tale. According to federal prosecutors, Didani’s financier, codenamed “Dale Johnson,” was the CEO of a Harper Woods, Michigan telecommunications company.
The drug ring had tendrils reaching through the U.S., Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, Chile, Albania, Turkey, Brazil, Germany, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands. Tibbitts was its alleged wallet. Investors said records showed he “had in-depth knowledge of the workings of the organization.”
Alongside bankrolling the six-year operation, documents say Tibbitts invested thousands with Didani in the development of “The Torpedo,” a parasitic submarine that would theoretically attach itself to ships via powerful magnets, allowing the much bigger vessels to carry it toward its destinations. Those plans were scrapped when Tibbitts suddenly died.
Tibbitts’ death was unusual, as well. While he was flying his vintage fighter jet, Tibbitts nosedived into a Wisconsin dairy farm’s barn in July 2018. He, along with 50 cows, were killed in the crash. His death allegedly forced the cartel to look throughout countries including Ecuador, Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates for a new investor.
Tibbitts and his wife Belinda lived in a $6.4 million, 12,000 square foot house previously owned by Silver Bullet Band saxophone player Alto Reed. Friends and neighbors were shocked to learn of Tibbitts’ alter ego.
“I think anybody who would hear something like this would be shocked,” neighbor Ari Buchanan told The Detroit News. Even decade-long friend Beverly Kindle-Walker said she had no idea Tibbitts was more than he appeared. Kindle-Walker, the executive director of the Friends of Detroit City Airport, described him as a “normal, fun-loving guy,” telling the paper she “never got any hint of evil intent of anything, never.”
Further, Tibbitts’ reported behavior seemed incongruent with the man she knew. Tibbitts was known for introducing kids from local neighborhoods via field trips at the hangar in which he stored the vintage aircraft he loved.
“He knows the neighborhoods where these young people are coming from and wanted to show them another way,” she said. “I don’t see him on the side doing that [illegal drug trafficking], and at the same time, trying to encourage young people to lift up out of those circumstances.”