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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Sex, Money, Murder Gang Members and Associates Sentenced for Drug Conspiracy

NEW BERN – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced markell desetten wiggins, also known as “Kell,” 33, of Scotland Neck, North Carolina to 86 months imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release.

WIGGINS was the last of seven members and associates of the Sex, Money, Murder (SMM) Scotland Neck-area United Blood Nation street gang to be sentenced in a drug conspiracy spanning from 2012 to June 27, 2017.  The seven members were named in a fifteen-count indictment filed on June 27, 2017 charging them with conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute heroin; distribution and possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin, and aiding and abetting; possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin; distribution of a quantity of heroin; and felon in possession of a firearm.

WIGGINS was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one hundred grams or more of heroin and pled guilty to such charge on February 13, 2018.  WIGGINS received sentencing enhancements as a leader in the conspiracy and for obstruction of justice by using someone under the age of 18 years old to assist in avoiding detection or apprehension. 

BO’NEKA SARELL McDANIEL, 29, of Scotland Neck, North Carolina, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one hundred grams or more of heroin.  McDANIEL pled guilty to that charge on October 2, 2017.  On February 21, 2018 McDANIEL was sentenced to 62 months’ imprisonment and 4 years supervised release.  McDANIEL was sentenced as a leader based upon her position in the conspiracy.

REGINALD SAVAGE, aka “Whimp,” 49, of Scotland Neck, North Carolina was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin.  SAVAGE pled guilty to that charge on September 13, 2017.  On April 3, 2018, SAVAGE was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment and 3 years supervised release.

COLLIN LEE WHITAKER JR., also known as “BJ,” 25, of Greenville, North Carolina, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin.  WHITAKER pled guilty to that charge on September 13, 2017.  On January 11, 2018, WHITAKER was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment and 3 years supervised release.

KEVIN DWAYNE CARSWELL, aka “K Rock,” 31, of Scotland Neck, North Carolina, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin.  CARSWELL pled guilty to that charge on September 13, 2017.  On May 23, 2018, CARSWELL was sentenced to 37 months’ imprisonment and 3 years supervised release.  CARSWELL received a sentencing enhancement for his possession of a firearm during the conspiracy.

DANTEE BROWN, aka “Tay,” 37, of Tarboro, North Carolina, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin.  BROWN pled guilty to that charge on September 13, 2017.  On January 11, 2018, BROWN was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment and 3 years supervised release.  BROWN received enhancements in his sentence for his possession of a firearm and use of violence during the drug conspiracy.

SHANTA VENITA HINES, 31, of Scotland Neck, North Carolina, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin.  HINES pled guilty to that charge on November 14, 2017.  On February 21, 2018, HINES was sentenced to 3 years probation.

According to the investigation, the seven abovementioned individuals were members and affiliates of SMM and they distributed large quantities of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana in and around the Halifax County area.  The defendants were supplied heroin from sources in New Jersey.  When one of their gang leaders was arrested, the members increased their drug trafficking activities as a mechanism to raise money.   McDANIEL was not a member of the gang, but sold drugs on behalf of the gang to raise money for one of the gang’s leaders, which was her relative.  McDANIEL sold 2,700 bags of heroin.  McDANIEL’s boyfriend, SAVAGE, also assisted in the conspiracy and sold 2,650 bags of heroin.  BROWN was a high ranking gang member that admitted to robbing others of drugs. CARSWELL recruited his girlfriend, HINES, to assist in the drug conspiracy.  Law enforcement observed HINES selling drugs to a confidential informant in the presence of her young child. 

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force, a multi-agency task force, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, Pinetops Police Department, Scotland Neck Police Department, Tarboro Police Department, Rocky Mount Police Department, and Nash County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Dena King represented the government.

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Updated April 10, 2019