News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2008
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
PIO/AFD
Number: 404-893-7124

5 Arrested As Part of Operation Nip-Tuck

FEB 5 -- United States Attorney George E.B. Holding and the DEA Atlanta Field Division Special Agent in Charge Rodney G. Benson announced the arrests of DOMINIQUE CURTIS FEREBEE, 22; DANIEL BOWSER, 31; JOSEPH HALL, 30; JERVON WONDELL MCGILBERRY, 25; and KAREEM AKEEM MCMURRIN, 23, all of Elizabeth City, North Carolina; charged in the investigation of Operation Nip-Tuck.

On February 27, 2008, a federal Grand Jury returned Criminal Indictments charging the above defendants. Others indicted in the investigation include RUDOLPH ROSS, 27; JERMAINE ROSSIE WILLIAMS, 25; TRAVIS BANKS, 28; all of Elizabeth City, North Carolina; and MICHAEL LEONARD COSTON, 33, of Hertford, North Carolina. The various charges include possession with intent to distribute more than five grams of crack, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1), which carries a maximum of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $2 million fine and 5 years supervised release; possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A), which carries a maximum of life imprisonment (consecutive to any other term of imprisonment), a $250,000.00 fine and 5 years supervised release; possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Sections 5841, 5861(d), and 5871, which carries a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $10,000.00 fine and 3 years supervised release; distribution of a quantity of crack, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1), which carries a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1 million fine and 3 years supervised release; possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of crack, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1), which carries a maximum of life imprisonment, a $4 million fine and a mandatory 5 years of supervised release; and felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1), which carries a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000.00 fine and 3 years supervised release (if deemed an Armed Career Criminal based on criminal history, a minimum of 15 years and maximum of life imprisonment, a $250,000.00 fine and 5 years supervised release may be imposed).

In July, 2007, federal, state and local authorities initiated a joint investigation, dubbed Operation Nip-Tuck, in response to the distribution of crack cocaine and drug-related violence in Elizabeth City and the surrounding communities in northeastern North Carolina.

The combined efforts of law enforcement and prosecutors culminated in a total of 20 arrests; 5 stemming from federal charges and 15 arrests from state charges of individuals involved in the distribution of crack cocaine and/or the illegal possession of guns in the area. Investigators focused their efforts on criminals with prior felony convictions for drug trafficking or violent crimes, and those associated with violent street gangs distributing crack cocaine.

Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated, “The distribution of crack cocaine has caused an escalation of violence on the streets of Elizabeth City. These criminals had total ill-will and disregard for all citizens of this community. These arrests today illustrate that success can be achieved through the combined efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement. The end result is that the Elizabeth City community is a much safer place today.”

“With all levels of law enforcement working together, drug dealers and violent gang members are being taken off the streets of Elizabeth City and her surrounding communities. The men and women of law enforcement put their lives on the line every day; we owe them a debt of gratitude that could never be repaid.” United States Attorney George Holding continued, “We will continue this vital work to make our communities a safer place for our children to play and our families to live and grow.”

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Raleigh and Norfolk Offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI); the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Division (ALE); the North Carolina Department of Probation and Parole; the Elizabeth City Police Department; the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office; the Camden County Sheriff’s Office; the Perquimans County Sheriff’s Office; the Hertford City Police Department; and the Pasquotank District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Eric Goulian, Brian S. Meyers, and Denise Walker are serving as prosecutors for the United States.

The DEA Atlanta Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Rodney G. Benson, recommends that parents and children educate themselves about the dangers of drug abuse by visiting DEA’s interactive website at www.justhinktwice.com

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