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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2013

Davie, Rowan County Residents Sentenced On Federal Drug Charges

Lengthy sentences conclude joint investigation

GREENSBORO, N.C. – A group involved in the distribution of cocaine base (“crack”) in southwest Davie County and western Rowan County has been dismantled and its members sentenced to federal prison, announced United States Attorney Ripley Rand.

A joint investigation by the Davie County Sheriff’s Office, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) uncovered a conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (“crack”) that included COREY DEWAYNE KERR, TAVIS LABRON HOUPE, DERRICK LAMONT WILSON, CARLOS ANTWONNE REDMOND, MICHAEL ANTHONY KEATON, ZENOBIA RUBEN JACKSON, ALPHONSO LEE KEATON, TRACY LAVENDER WILSON, and RICARDO JOHN LIPSCOMB. As a result of the investigation, these individuals were charged and convicted of federal drug crimes.  ZENOBIA RUBEN JACKSON died prior to sentencing and the indictment against him was dismissed.  The other defendants were all sentenced to federal prison.

“Our success in fighting this brazen drug trafficking organization is a direct result of our close partnerships with state and local law enforcement,” said United States Attorney Rand.  “The Davie and Rowan County Sheriff’s Offices and the SBI have been valuable partners with ATF and the United States Attorney’s Office in the effort to improve the safety and quality of life in these communities for all residents.”

The investigation revealed that between June 1, 2007, and November 30, 2010, the co-conspirators were involved in drug sales in two open-air drug markets referred to as “Wilson Town” (in southwest Davie County) and “The Country” (in western Rowan County).  Buyers of “crack” would be directed to one location or the other based upon the availability of “crack,” or police presence in the area. Many of the conspirators had common sources of supply for the “crack” and used common cooks for the purposes of manufacturing the “crack.” Other conspirators would congregate outside a residence within “The Country” that was being used to store and manufacture “crack.”  Interviews with the conspirators revealed that some conspirators would buy from and sell to one another for resale, others would be involved in the street level distribution of “crack,” while others would provide transportation for those involved in the distribution of “crack.”

COREY DEWAYNE KERR, age 38, of Cleveland, NC, pleaded guilty on July 7, 2011, to maintaining a drug-involved premises.  At the time of his plea, KERR was already serving a state court sentence for felony possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine.  KERR was sentenced on August 31, 2012, to 240 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and three years of supervised release.

Each of the other defendants pleaded guilty in March 2011 to one count of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base.  They were sentenced as follows:

TAVIS LABRON HOUPE, age 37, of Cleveland, NC, was sentenced on June 29, 2011, to 78 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and five years of supervised release.

DERRICK LAMONT WILSON, age 37, of Salisbury, NC, was sentenced on August 5, 2011, to 171 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and ten years of supervised release.

CARLOS ANTWONNE REDMOND, age 30, of Mocksville, NC, was sentenced on August 11, 2011, to 90 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and five years of supervised release.

MICHAEL ANTHONY KEATON, age 29, of Clemmons, NC, was sentenced on August 5, 2011, to 114 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and five years of supervised release.

ALPHONSO LEE KEATON, age 40, of Cleveland, NC, was sentenced on June 28, 2011, to 87 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and five years of supervised release.

TRACY LAVENDER WILSON, age 41, of Salisbury, NC, was sentenced on August 5, 2011, to 100 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and four years of supervised release.

RICARDO JOHN LIPSCOMB, age 30, of Spencer, NC, was sentenced on August 4, 2011, to 120 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and five years of supervised release.

The cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Terry Meinecke and Assistant United States Attorney Graham Green.

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