WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

18 charged in federal drug roundup

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A dozen and a half people face charges as a part of a federal drug distribution crackdown in Wilson and surrounding counties.

The Tar River Regional Drug Task Force has arrested 18 suspects on cocaine, heroin and weapons charges in a coordinated warrant enforcement operation, according to federal officials. Authorities say at least one suspect was found to be in N.C. Division of Adult Correction custody and will now face federal prosecution.

Eight of the 18 defendants have Wilson or Elm City addresses, and the Wilson Police Department participated in the multi-agency blitz.

“We are grateful to be a partner in stopping drug traffickers in our community who poison so many, take advantage of the weak who are affected with substance abuse disorder and cause other crimes to occur associated with drug sales,,” said Capt. Jeff Boykin, commander of the Wilson police narcotics unit. “Operations of this nature cause a noticeable disruption effect in the distribution of illegal narcotics in our communities.”

The regional approach is aimed at disrupting drug distribution networks rather than catching individual dealers, Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone noted. Someone living in Rocky Mount may be supplying sellers in Wilson, and a defendant from the Elm City area could be peddling in Nash and Pitt counties.

“Criminals do not stop at jurisdictional boundaries such as city limit signs or from one county to another,” Stone said in a prepared statement. “They travel back and forth between them conducting their business; therefore, it’s paramount that agencies work together. As a result of our collaboration, we have taken multiple hardened criminals off our streets and communities in this region.”

Robert Higdon, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, organized a Thursday press conference at the Nash County administration building in Nashville to announce the arrests. His office is prosecuting the cases, and agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and U.S. Marshals Service assisted local law enforcement.

In addition to the federal arrests, 13 suspects face outstanding state charges in connection to the roundup.

The operation was conducted as a part of the Eastern District of North Carolina’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative, which leverages federal court system resources to combat crime in Wilson, Nash, Edgecombe and Pitt counties.

Those charged during the operation include:

• Marquavious Harold Carr, 29, of Elm City, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, 28 grams or more of crack and a quantity of cocaine and marijuana

• De’Andre Anthony Lucas, 28, of Wilson, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and heroin

• Shaquandra McAllister, 28, of Wilson, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of crack and a quantity of cocaine and heroin

• Travis Kwymaine Ruffin, 28, of Wilson, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute crack and heroin

• Michael Speight, 26, of Elm City, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine

• Rodney Durrell Thomas, 20, of Elm City, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine and a quantity of cocaine and marijuana

• Brendon Rashad White, 20, of Wilson, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, 100 grams or more of heroin and a quantity of crack and marijuana

• Marcus Antwan Wiley, 29, of Elm City, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin

• Angelo McKinley Cooper, 29, of Rocky Mount, possession with intent to distribute marijuana; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and being a felon in possession of a firearm

• Ronnie Renault Foreman, 39, of Greenville, being a felon in possession of a firearm and aiding and abetting

• Terance Earl Foreman, 33, of Greenville, being a felon in possession of a firearm and aiding and abetting

• Cohn Deangelo Hinton, 48, of Rocky Mount, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, 100 grams or more of heroin and a quantity of crack and marijuana

• Keyonta Tarezze Langley, 30, of Greenville, being a felon in possession of a firearm

• Marquice Quashawn McCoy, 30, of Rocky Mount, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and heroin

• Trawn Joval Rodgers, 38, of Greenville, distribution of cocaine

• Kendrick Dequan Rogers, 25, of Raleigh, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, 28 grams or more of crack, 100 grams or more of heroin and marijuana

• Monte Marquis Thorne, 42, of Rocky Mount, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and crack; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm

• Jazmein Jaquae Wiggins, 39, of Rocky Mount, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition

The task force includes officers from the Wilson, Rocky Mount, Nashville, Spring Hope and Tarboro police departments and the Nash County and Edgecombe County sheriff’s offices along with state and federal law enforcement agencies.

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