Michigan CEO who died when his plane nosedived into a Wisconsin dairy barn killing 50 cows ‘lived a double life as financier of international drug ring and had plans for a torpedo submarine to transport cocaine’
Marty Tibbitts died in a fiery plane crash in July 2018 in Wisconsin
A new indictment points to him as allegedly providing more than $1.8 million to a drug ring run by Ylli Didani over the course of several years
Tibbitts is not named in the indictment, but his identity was confirmed by The Detroit News, which used biographical information to narrow down his identity
He and Didani allegedly financed a submarine to haul cocaine covertly from one country to another, but it was scrapped upon Tibbitts’ death
Didani was arrested this week on a variety of distribution charges
Prior to his death, Didani was the CEO of Clementine Live Answering Service
Marty Tibbitts was killed in a tragic plane accident back in July 2018. However, according to federal prosecutors, Tibbitts, the CEO of a Michigan company led a double life as the financier of international drug ring, a federal indictment has alleged.
Marty Tibbitts died in July 2018 when the vintage fighter jet he was flying nosedived into a Wisconsin dairy barn just after takeoff, killing 50 cows as well.
The Drug Enforcement Administration released an indictment accusing the pilot of involvement in high tech narcotics transportation. The document also reveals designs for ‘The Torpedo,’ a submarine that would have been used to transport cocaine around the world.T
he explosive indictment was connected to an investigation of 43-year-old Illinois resident Ylli Didani, who has been accused of being in charge of a global drug ring that distributed cocaine in 15 countries on four continents.
The ring allegedly operated in the United States, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, Chile, Albania, Turkey, Brazil, Germany, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands. However, Tibbitts lost his life when the plane he was piloting nosedived into a Wisconsin barn.
Marty Tibbitts was the CEO of Clementine Live Answering Service, but he often went by the generic code name “Dale Johnson” in communications related to his work as a drug trafficker, prosecutors say. However, he died at age 50 in a plane crash in 2018.
An aviation buff with the money to support his passion, Tibbitts founded the World Heritage Aviation Museum in Detroit. He was killed when the vintage fighter jet he was piloting nosedived into a dairy barn in Wisconsin, taking 50 cows with him.
The 50-year-old businessan 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.
Tibbitts is survived by his wife, Belinda, two children, a stepdaughter, and his parents.
Ylli Didani, the 43-year-old alleged leader of the worldwide drug ring, 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.
Didani is connected to Tibbitts – who went by code name ‘Dale Johnson’ for his alleged illicit activity, as they allegedly worked together on the submarine. Although he was not named in the complaint, local media was able to identify Tibbitts using the biographical information listed.
Tibbitts is further alleged to have 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 business entrepreneur allegedly also travelled by private plane to Washington D.C. to hand Didani $350,000 during a clandestine late night meeting.
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 scuttled, by Tibbitts’ death in the 2018 plane crash.
After his partner’s 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.
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.
‘He was one of those visionaries in business, always had great vision, great ideas.’