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‘Strip club cage fighter’ busted by the DEA for role in cocaine trafficking ring

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A woman who fought at strip clubs in Arizona was arrested, along with her girlfriend, in a drugs case involving a notorious Detroit street gang.

Arizona Department of Corrections

This week The Detroit News reported that Cielo Steward, 30, was arrested in connection with a DEA investigation into a ‘drug pipeline’ which funneled drugs from Arizona to Detroit. Steward is a fighter who competes at strip clubs in the Phoenix-area. She has posted a number of these fights to her personal YouTube channel.

The investigation that resulted in Steward’s arrest dates back to September 2016. It’s then that federal agents began looking into Darryl Terrell, who they believed had created a drug empire out of Detroit along with his son Jerome Terrell. Darryl Terrell is an alleged former member of Young Boys Inc. (Y.B.I), a street gang that has been involved in the illegal narcotics trade since at least the 1970s.

The DEA’s investigation into the Terrell’s lead them to Arizona-based Cheryl Cheatham, who they suspected to be a Terrell drug courier. Agents secured a warrant to collect GPS data from Cheatham’s phone, which showed her taking a trip from Phoenix to Detroit. In Detroit agents claimed to have witnessed Cheatham, who is a 63-year-old grandmother, loading two large suitcases onto an airport shuttle. The DEA intercepted the shuttle and discovered the suitcases contained a total of 17 kilograms of cocaine, worth $595,000. Cheatham was then arrested.

Seven months later, prosecutors charged both Terrells on drug offenses. Authorities alleged that the father and son team laundered their drug profits through Darryl Terrell’s soul food restaurant, Café Sonshine.

The DEA claims that during this investigation they discovered evidence that Cielo Steward and her girlfriend Morgan Shearon, 26, were also couriers for the Terrell’s drug organization. They were both arrested in January, 2016 at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport while attempting to fly to Detroit.

In Shearon’s checked bag investigators found 11 kilograms of cocaine. The drugs were wrapped in towels, just like they were in the bust in Detroit involving Cheatham. After finding drugs on Shearon, investigators checked Steward’s luggage. There they found nine kilograms of cocaine and a single kilogram of heroin.

According to court records, after claiming she was just coming to Detroit to find new strip clubs to fight in, Steward claimed she did not pack her own bags, but felt there was something illegal in them.

Investigators later learned that Shearon had had phone communication with Jerome Terrell and had previously purchased plane tickets for Cheatham. In October last year Steward and Shearon both plead guilty to charges of transporting illegal narcotics as part of a plea deal. Steward received a five year sentence, to be served at Arizona State Prison Complex - Perryville.