Skip to main content
Press Release

Final Member Of A Halifax County Multi-Kilogram Heroin Trafficking Organization Sentenced

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

NEW BERN, N.C. – A Princeville man was sentenced this week to 57 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin and a quantity of marijuana.

According to court documents, Mario Marelle Scott, 44, was named in a Third Superseding Indictment filed on October 11, 2018.  On November 13, 2019, Scott entered a plea of guilty.

In March 2016, members of the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force (TRRDTF), led by the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, learned that a drug trafficking organization was bringing large amounts of heroin from New Jersey to Nash, Edgecombe, and Halifax Counties. The organization would then sell the heroin in those counties.

On March 13, 2017, agents conducted a traffic stop of Herbert Lamont Cherry and Tony Ray Reams as they returned from Paterson, New Jersey. A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of 470 grams of heroin, which were packaged in 34,722 “bindles” or dosage units.

On August 16, 2017, agents conducted a traffic stop of Tara Finis Simmons and Charles Lee Wright as they returned from Paterson, New Jersey. The vehicle was searched and found to contain 110 grams of heroin and 13 grams of marijuana.

Agents then interviewed a series of witnesses, who indicated that the drug trafficking organization was led by Terrence Cornelius Clyburn, a/k/a “Tee.” Clyburn would arrange for the transportation of large amounts of heroin to North Carolina via couriers. Those couriers included Tony Reams, Herbert Cherry, Tara Simmons, and Charles Wright.

Other members of the organization would distribute the drugs in North Carolina, including Patrick Holiday, Tyshawn Reams, and Mario Scott.

From 2015 to 2017, Mario Scott and Patrick Holiday distributed approximately 100 grams of heroin each month in North Carolina for the organization. In total, Mario Scott was responsible for trafficking almost 10 kilograms of heroin.

Below are the results of the other cases in this investigation:

  • Terrence Clyburn, Case No. 4:17-CR-0046-3: 147 months’ imprisonment.
  • Patrick Direece Holiday, Case No. 4:17-CR-0046-5: 96 months’ imprisonment.
  • Tyshawn Rayvon Reams, Case No. 4:17-CR-0046-4: 88 months’ imprisonment.
  • Charles Lee Wright, Case No. 4:17-CR-0046-1: 60 months’ imprisonment.
  • Tara Finis Simmons, Case No. 4:17-CR-0046-2: 28 months’ imprisonment
  • Herbert Lamont Cherry, Case No. 4:17-CR-0025-FL-1: 47 months’ imprisonment.
  • Tony Ray Reams, Case No. 4:17-CR-0025-FL-2: 71 months’ imprisonment.


G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Nash County Sheriff’s Office, Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, Wake County Sheriff’s Office, Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Spring Hope Police Department and the Tarboro Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott A. Lemmon prosecuted the case.

This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Office’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement. For additional information about this initiative, click here

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-00046-FL-6.



Updated July 30, 2021