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Press Release

Two Robeson County Drug Traffickers Sentenced to 8 Years and 12 ½ Years

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – Two defendants were recently sentenced in federal court for drug trafficking in the area of Robeson County.

On June 9, 2021, Joel Armando Rodriguez of Maxton was sentenced to 150 months in prison for trafficking cocaine and crystal methamphetamine.

On November 12, 2020, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Five Hundred (500) Grams or More of Cocaine.

According to court documents and other information presented to the court, Rodriguez, 48, regularly trafficked drugs from Texas to North Carolina. On October 7, 2019, members of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop of Rodriguez, and he was found in possession of approximately one kilogram of cocaine.

The investigation also determined that Rodriguez had distributed a significant amount of crystal methamphetamine in Robeson County.

Today, Tushombi Take Wallace of Lumberton was sentenced to 96 months in prison and five years of supervised release for trafficking cocaine, cocaine base (crack), heroin, and crystal methamphetamine.  

On December 16, 2020, Wallace pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine, 280 Grams or More of Cocaine Base (Crack), and 500 Grams or More of Cocaine (Count One); and Distribution of 100 Grams or More of Heroin and 5 Grams or More of Methamphetamine (Count Four).

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Wallace, 45, sold cocaine, cocaine base, heroin, and crystal methamphetamine to a confidential informant on several dates from December 19, 2017 until January 29, 2020.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

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 James C. Dever III. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Fayetteville Police Department, and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Lemmon  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. 7:20-CR-57-D-1 and 5:20-CR-169-D-1.

Updated June 22, 2021

Drug Trafficking