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Press Release

Rocky Mount Blood Gang Leader Sentenced for Drug Trafficking and COVID-19 Fraud

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Rocky Mount leader of the G-Shine Bloods gang, a subset of the United Blood Nation gang, was sentenced today in connection with his leadership role in a violent drug trafficking organization. Tyrone Foreman, also known as “Ty Nitty,”
was sentenced to 360 months in prison after having pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Additionally, he was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $220,211.27 to the Federal Government.

The case was part of Operation Caught Cold, which led to the conviction of 17 defendants, including Foreman, the seizure of 6,601 dosage units of a mixture containing fentanyl 4,389 dosage units of heroin, and over 20 guns. In total, Foreman was personally responsible for trafficking more than 14,000 doses of a fentanyl mixture, and more than 60,940 doses of heroin.

“Tyrone Foreman used threats and intimidation to run his criminal drug trafficking enterprise while his organization raked in over a quarter million dollars in COVID-19 unemployment fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “Through this operation we seized at least 20 firearms, some in the hands of felons and purchased through straw buyers.  Let this 30-year sentence be a warning.  Armed drug traffickers pushing fentanyl in North Carolina will pay a heavy price.  Operation Caught Cold is yet another example of what can be accomplished when local law enforcement agencies partner to deliver justice.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Foreman, 35, was identified as a high-ranking member of the G-Shine Bloods gang in the Rocky Mount area. The investigation revealed that Foreman obtained thousands of dosage units of mixtures containing heroin and fentanyl from various suppliers spanning from Wake Forest to New York.  The heroin/fentanyl mixtures would then be distributed throughout Nash and Edgecombe Counties by lower ranking gang members and other drug dealers working at Foreman’s direction.

“ATF and our law enforcement partners will continue to apply every resource available to combat the violent gun crime associated with gangs and drug trafficking networks,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Bennie Mims. “Bringing the leaders of these violent groups to justice is a critical move towards disbanding these criminal networks and taking illegal firearms off our streets.”

“I would like to thank the men and woman in local and state agencies involved. I appreciate the long hours away from their families and the necessary paperwork needed to build strong cases,” said Edgecombe County Sheriff Cleveland Atkinson.  “I especially want to thank our federal partners for their continued hard work to help us keep our citizens safe. And lastly, I want to thank all of our concerned citizens for notifying law enforcement of gang activity & drug dealing and wanting a safer community.”

“This conviction is further evidence that those who decide to lead and or participate in illegal organizations will become prime targets of federal investigations,” stated Rocky Mount Police Chief Robert Hassell. “Organizations like the one that Tyrone Foreman was leading led to multiple crimes being committed in and around our community. Today is a day that the communities that he once disrupted with his criminal activity will now be a little safer with his conviction and sentencing. We value our law enforcement partners and will take cases federally whenever possible to ensure these offenders are taken off our streets.”    

On October 9, 2019, investigators with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office conducted a surveillance operation on Foreman as he travelled from Nash County to Wake Forest to meet with a drug supplier.  Investigators conducted a traffic stop of Foreman as he returned to Nash County and recovered approximately 2,000 dosage units of heroin/fentanyl mixture from his vehicle. 

The investigation continued throughout the fall of 2019 and into 2020, as members of local law enforcement agencies collaborated to conduct over twenty controlled purchases of heroin or heroin/fentanyl mixture from members of Foreman’s drug trafficking organization.  Through controlled purchases, surveillance, search warrants, traffic stops, and interviews of witnesses, investigators learned that members of the Foreman Drug Trafficking Organization routinely carried firearms while they sold heroin/fentanyl and utilized threats of violence to ensure that the organization’s drug sales continued.  During the course of the investigation, over twenty firearms were seized from Foreman, members of his gang, members of his drug trafficking organization, and females that were straw purchasing firearms on their behalf.  One of Foreman’s co-conspirators, Vernisha Suggs, made numerous straw purchases on behalf of Bloods gang members from federally licensed firearm dealers in Rocky Mount. Suggs pled guilty and was sentenced to 71 months in prison.

In October 2020, the investigative team identified a New York based heroin/fentanyl supplier who was travelling to Rocky Mount to provide Foreman with thousands of dosage units at a time.  Through surveillance and hotel records, investigators confirmed four meetings between Foreman and the supplier during October and November 2020 alone. 

The drug investigation culminated in a December 2020 traffic stop of Foreman and another member of his gang on I-95 in Maryland as they returned from meeting with the New York based supplier.  Over 3,500 dosage units of heroin/fentanyl mixture were seized during that stop. 

After Foreman’s Maryland arrest, law enforcement continued to learn that he was involved in other criminal activity.  Foreman placed various recorded jail calls from Maryland to women in North Carolina where it was apparent that he was directing them to handle money for him.  Investigators learned that Foreman and these women were committing a wire fraud conspiracy in which they were collecting thousands of dollars’ worth of COVID-19 related unemployment benefits based on claims they fraudulently filed using personal information of other individuals, some of whom were in prison and ineligible to receive benefits. They filed at least 26 false claims, and the conspiracy netted over $250,000 in cash that was distributed to Foreman’s associates. 

This investigation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launders, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. This investigation spanned three years.  In total, 17 defendants have been convicted, and eight have been sentenced.

The agencies involved in the investigation include Nash County Sheriff’s Office, Rocky Mount Police Department, Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office, Nashville Police Department, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the North Carolina Department of Commerce - Division of Employment Security, and the Office of the 8th Prosecutorial District of North Carolina.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Caroline Webb and Charity Wilson, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney J.D. Koesters prosecuted the case.

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. 5:21-CR-289-D-1.

Updated March 31, 2023