News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2009
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
PIO/AFD
Number: 404-893-7124

Fourteen Charged for Involvement in North Carolina Cocaine Conspiracy
-Many Local Arrests Made in Large Law Enforcement Sweep

APR 21 -- MACON COUNTY, NC —Fourteen local residents allegedly involved in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base, commonly known as “crack” cocaine, in Macon and Buncombe Counties, have been charged with federal drug conspiracy, and with unlawful use of a communication facility in committing the drug conspiracy. Four of the defendants are also charged with money laundering. Today’s announcement is made by Acting U.S. Attorney Edward R. Ryan of t he Western District of North Carolina; Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Atlanta Field Division; Toby Hayes, Special Agent in Charge, Western District Office of North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI); Robert L. Holland, Sheriff, Macon County, NC, and T.W. Bradley, Chief of the Franklin, NC Police Department. The drug conspiracy is alleged to have lasted from about November 2007 to the present, and to have been carried out within Macon and Buncombe Counties in the Western District of North Carolina, and elsewhere.

Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division commented, “All participating agencies played a crucial role in the eradication of this criminal network. Their drug trafficking activities posed a significant threat to the quality of life in Macon and Buncombe Counties and elsewhere. The dismantling of this organization makes these communities a safer place today. I want to thank our federal, state and local law enforcement counterparts, who had a direct impact in making this investigation a success.”

“Today’s indictment underscores our continuing efforts to prosecute drug trafficking organizations through collaborative efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Edward Ryan. “These charges allege drug trafficking in small, rural communities on a grand scale. The message today should be very clear: individuals who participate in drug distribution conspiracies in small, rural communities are not operating successfully under the federal radar. Drug traffickers everywhere in this district will get the ‘federal treatment’ through investigation, vigorous prosecution, and severe penalties for those who are convicted.” Mr. Ryan expressed appreciation for the extensive cooperation of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies: “Absent outstanding cooperation among these law enforcement agencies, such operations would not be possible,” he said.

Sheriff Holland of Macon County, North Carolina, said, “In a collaborative effort, local, state, and federal officers have worked non-stop for more than a year, including weekends and holidays. Because of these dedicated officers, several members of our community are out of the drug dealing business.”

Pimpson Jerreau Broome, Charles Edward Dean, Jr., Cleadie Doolin, Tracy Bernard Gibson, Alvis Levester Goodman, Lisa Jae Ledford, Mark Taylor Lewis, Stephanie Idon Mason, Angela Maria Oxendine, John Francis Rice, Judy Nicole Sparks, Ricky Lee Wood, Emilee Jo Ann Young, and Sylvia Plank Yonce are named defendants in a federal bill of indictment filed under seal in U.S. District Court in Charlotte on Tuesday, April 7, 2009. The defendants are from Macon County and the surrounding area. Thirteen of the 14 defendants were arrested or located in other custody today (April 14) on the federal charges, and further information and current status of each defendant is listed below.

In an indictment returned on April 7, 2009 by a federal grand jury in Asheville, the 14 defendants were charged with drug conspiracy (count one) and with unlawful use of a communication facility in committing the drug conspiracy (count two). Four of the 14 defendants, Charles Edward Dean, Jr., Tracy Bernard Gibson, Alvis Levester Goodman, and Mark Taylor Lewis, are also charged in a third count with money laundering.

The indictment alleges that the “crack” cocaine conspiracy involved 50 or more grams of cocaine base.

Listing of Defendants - US v. Pimpson Jerreau Broome, et al Docket Number 1:09cr26

Pimpson Jerreau Broome, 29 Franklin, NC Arrested April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court April 15, 2009

Charles Edward Dean, Jr., 48 Formerly of Franklin, NC Arrested April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court April 15, 2009

Cleadie Doolin, 53 Franklin, NC Arrested April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court April 15, 2009

Tracy Bernard Gibson, 40 Franklin, NC In other custody on April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court to be determined at a later date

Alvis Levester Goodman, 47 Acworth, Georgia Arrested April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court April 15, 2009

Lisa Jae Ledford, 37 Franklin, NC Arrested April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court April 15, 2009

Mark Taylor Lewis, 46 Franklin, NC Arrested April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court April 15, 2009

Stephanie Idon Mason, 30 Franklin, NC Not Arrested

Angela Maria Oxendine, 44 Franklin, NC Arrested April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court April 15, 2009

John Francis Rice, 47 Franklin, NC Arrested April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court April 15, 2009

Judy Nicole Sparks, 25 Franklin, NC In other custody on April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court to be determined at a later date

Ricky Lee Wood, 52 Otto, NC Arrested April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court April 15, 2009

Emilee Jo Ann Young, 46 Franklin, NC Arrested April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court April 15, 2009 and

Sylvia Plank Yonce, 39 Clayton, Georgia Arrested April 14, 2009 Initial appearance in federal court April 15, 2009

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. In the American justice system, a person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty at trial or by guilty plea. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of ten years to life imprisonment on the drug conspiracy count (count one) alone.

The case is being handled for the government by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill W. Rose of the Asheville Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. The investigation, which was developed over a period of approximately 18 months and which is ongoing, was spearheaded by the U.S. DEA and the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Robert L. Holland, with significant support from the NC SBI, and the Franklin, NC Police Department. Substantial assistance in Tuesday’s and today’s arrest activity came from a number of additional cooperating law enforcement agencies:

Buncombe County Anti-Crime Task Force
Jackson County North Carolina Sheriff’s Office
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
Rabun County Georgia Sheriff’s Office

DEA’s SAC Benson encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov. DEA.gov takes you directly to the Diversion Control and Prescription Drugs link.

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