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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 8, 2018

Federal Drug and Violent Crime Enforcement Operation Nets 12 Defendants Wanted for Guns, Drugs and Other Charges

HENDERSON – As part of “Take Back North Carolina Initiative,” the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announces that “Operation Thunderstruck,” a heroin and opioid centered Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation (OCDETF) resulted in the arrest of twelve (12) defendants for outstanding federal charges in a coordinated warrant enforcement operation.  In addition, at least one defendant related to this operation was found to be in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Corrections.  A federal detainers has been filed against this subject.  Also, one subject was arrested on state charges.

This operation was conducted as part of the Eastern District of North Carolina Take Back North Carolina Initiative as part of the federal focus on the alarming level of opioid use and the deaths associated with it.  This initiative is bringing the full weight and resources of the federal court system in the fight against crime in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren Counties in partnership with District Attorneys’ Offices and federal, state, and local law enforcement.

The following individuals were charged by way of Criminal Indictment.  The individual charges for each defendant is contained in the parenthesis following the personal information.

  • Lorenzo Alston, 28, of Henderson, NC (Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin)
  • Jermill Keith Blacknall, 30, of Henderson, NC (Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, Maintaining a Place for Manufacture & Distribution of Heroin)
  • Odell Terrance Burrell, 40, of Vance County, NC (Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base (Crack) and Marijuana & Maintaining a Place for Manufacture and Distribution of Cocaine Base (Crack) and Marijuana)
  • Kyle Victor Fisher, 29, of Granville County, NC (Felon in Possession of a Firearm & Ammunition)
  • Roy Lee Fowler, 53, of Vance County, NC (Felon in Possession of a Firearm)
  • Dominique Renna Russell, 30, of Henderson, NC (Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Aiding and Abetting, Maintaining a Place for Manufacturing & Distributing Heroin, aiding and abetting, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.)
  • Daryl Russell, 31, of Henderson, NC (Felon in Possession of a Firearm)
  • Mario Jamal Steed, 29, of Henderson, NC (Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Felon in Possession of a Firearm)
  • James Edward Downey, 41, of Oxford, NC (Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base (Crack))
  • Markest Foye, 32, of Oxford, NC (Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base (Crack))
  • Jamal Kendale Watson, 27, of Fayetteville, NC (Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base (Crack))
  • Toney Fields, 42, of Oxford, NC (Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base (Crack)

The charges and allegations contained in the Indictments are merely accusations.  The defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The enforcement operation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives, (ATF), the United States Marshal Service, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, Henderson Police Department, Oxford Police Department, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Vance County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Granville County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Probation Office.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated June 8, 2018