Nine Arrested And Charged With Drug Conspiracy
United States Attorney Anne M. Tompkins Western District Of North Carolina
One Remaining Fugitive Sought
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Nine of the ten men named in a federal criminal indictment were arrested this morning by law enforcement on federal drug conspiracy charges, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. A federal criminal indictment returned by a Charlotte grand jury on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, was unsealed today following the early morning round-up of the nine defendants. The last of the ten defendants named in the indictment remains a fugitive. The indictment is the result of a joint Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation conducted by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division; Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Georgia and the Carolinas; Greg McLeod, Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations (NC SBI); Chief Stacy Conley of the Gastonia Police Department; Chief Rodney D. Monroe of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department; and Chief David Belk of the Mount Holly Police Department.
The indictment alleges that from in or around 2002 to the present, the defendants conspired with each other and others to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine in Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties. The 10 defendants charged with one count of drug conspiracy are:
• Derwin Durham, a/k/a “Red,” 56, of Gastonia, N.C. • James Michael Barber, a/k/a “Big Cheese,” 41, of Gastonia. • Carroll Macarthur Williams, Jr., 34, of Kings Mountain, N.C. • Thomas Monteres Burris, 33, of Gastonia. • Larry Donnell Erby, Jr., 34, of Gastonia. • Mario Demond Floyd, 33, of Gastonia. • Tony Lamar Floyd, 45, of Gastonia. • Lance Richardson Pagan, 43, of Gastonia. • Torben Lamont Jackson, 33, of Charlotte. • James Russell “Rusty” Coulter, 34, of Gastonia.
All individuals except Coulter were taken into custody this morning and made their initial appearances today in federal court in Charlotte before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer. Coulter remains a fugitive (see attached photo).
While executing the arrest warrants and search warrants, law enforcement seized three firearms, approximately $67,000 in cash, two motorcycles, three vehicles, bullets, drugs and drug making paraphernalia.
The drug conspiracy charge against Durham and Barber carries a statutory mandatory life sentence and $20 million fine. The drug conspiracy charge against Pagan and Jackson carries a statutory minimum term of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison and a $20 million fine. And the drug conspiracy charge against the remaining defendants carries a statutory minimum term of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine.
The nine defendants’ detention hearings have been scheduled for Tuesday, September 24, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keesler.
The charges contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
The investigation was handled by the FBI, HSI, SBI, the Gastonia Police Department, the Mount Holly Police Department and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.