News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WEDNESDAY - April 28, 2010

TWO MEN RECEIVE FEDERAL SENTENCE IN

DRUG TRAFFICKING CONSPIRACY

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox sentenced two men in a drug trafficking conspiracy in Pitt County. ROY CECIL RHODES, 24, of Snow Hill, North Carolina, received 169 months’ imprisonment followed by five years supervised release and TAVARES LEE WATERS, 31, received 141 months’ imprisonment followed by five years supervised release. RHODES also had a fine imposed of $8,100.00. WATERS had a fine imposed of $7,700.00.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on July 9, 2009. On January 20, 2010, each defendant pled guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack). RHODES pled guilty to an additional count of aiding and abetting distributing five grams or more of cocaine base (crack).

After an investigation was initiated into the illegal drug distribution activities in Pitt County, four controlled drug transactions were performed between April 15, 2009 and June 3, 2009 in which WATERS, RHODES and co-defendant Aaron Coppedge sold crack cocaine. Following the final illicit transaction on June 3, 2009, law enforcement arrested Coppedge and a search of the vehicle he used in the drug transaction earlier was performed. In the vehicle officers located 60.4 grams of crack cocaine. A search of Coppedge revealed $200 in U.S. currency. Another co-defendant, Donald Coppedge, fled but was apprehended after a foot chase. Following a search, officers found 28 grams of cocaine on Donald Coppedge.

On February 5, 2010, a federal jury found Aaron Coppedge guilty of six counts of various drug charges. On February 18, 2010, a second federal jury found Donald Coppedge, along with his brother and co-defendant, Donnell Coppedge, guilty of drug possession and distribution charges. Sentencings for the Coppedges have been set for May, 2010.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office and the Greenville/Pitt County Drug Task Force that includesthe Greenville Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, the Winterville Police Department and the Farmville Police Department. Other agencies included in the investigation include the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Carolina Department of Corrections. Special Assistant United States Attorney Glenn Perry was the assigned Prosecutor.Mr. Perry is a prosecutor with the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office.District Attorney Clark Everett has assigned him to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force criminal matters.This has been made possible by a grant funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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