U.S. Attorney Announces 17 Indictments in Fayetteville Area as Part of Ongoing Federal Violent Crime and Drug Strategy Significant Amounts of Drugs and Guns Seized
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina
This effort was conducted as part of two strategic initiatives underway in the region: the Violent Crime Action Plan (VCAP) and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).
Over the last two months, 17 individuals were indicted by grand juries for federal charges and are currently in custody. As part of the initiative, 16 guns, four auto sear machine gun switches, nearly 1500 rounds of ammunition, nearly a kilogram of cocaine, approximately an ounce of fentanyl, 100 MDMA/fentanyl pills, cash and two luxury SUVs have been seized.
Additionally, convictions have now been secured against all three North Carolina defendants in an international fentanyl trafficking ring that operated in multiple cities, including the city of Fayetteville. Earlier this month, a federal jury returned verdicts of guilty on both counts against Hector Perez Valenzuela, who was found with seven kilograms of pure fentanyl. In total, the fentanyl trafficking ring was held accountable for distributing more than 40 kilograms of fentanyl around the country.
“As we head into the summer months, when we typically see an uptick in violent crime, we want to send a strong and unified message that this community stands against gun violence and drug traffickers,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “We are working with law enforcement at every level to get dangerous, illegal guns and drugs off the streets and put the individuals most responsible for violence and narcotics behind bars. We are using every tool available to keep our communities safe.”
VCAP is a collaboration of the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the Fayetteville Police Department (FPD), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Marshals Service (USMS). A primary objective of the VCAP is to identify and systematically investigate and prosecute individuals contributing to crime in the city of Fayetteville and surrounding areas. Law enforcement partners use inter-agency coordination and intelligence-led policing, analyzing crime data to deploy resources where they are most needed and leveraging federal Task Force officers to bring federal technology to address local gun violence.
OCDETF investigations identify, disrupt, and dismantle the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, 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.
"The Fayetteville Police Department remains committed to our partnership with Federal and State agencies to remove violent and career criminals from our community,” said Fayetteville Police Chief Kemberle Braden. “This partnership and the highlighted cases presented today support our goal of making Fayetteville a safe and secure community."
“These indictments and seizures demonstrate the FBI's relentless determination to eradicate the sales of illegal drugs. We are proud to work side by side with our law enforcement partners to hold these individuals accountable,” said Robert M. DeWitt, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Charlotte Special Agent in Charge.
“Drugs are affecting families and killing our loved ones,” said Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis W. Wright. “Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Agencies nationwide are constantly collaborating to find opportunities to improve safety in our communities. We hold everyone who endangers our communities with gun violence and poisons like Fentanyl, Cocaine, Meth, and Heroin responsible. While the drug dealers think they are safe, we are putting you on notice that your dealings are being watched, and rest assured that we are on the way to you and have a place for you to stay."
“ATF and our law enforcement partners support the Violent Crime Action Plan because it focuses on those individuals who pose the biggest threat to our communities,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Bennie Mims. “We can have a major impact on the level of crime and violence in a community when we take firearms out of the hands of dangerous, prohibited individuals.”
"Fentanyl poisonings and other dangerous drugs have taken a terrible toll on our communities.” said Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Atlanta Division. “Violent criminals and drug traffickers will face the consequences of their actions.”
“The Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office is proud to be a part of the Violent Crime Action Plan,” said Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West. “We are committed to partnering with our local, state, and federal law enforcement to aggressively prosecute violent crime. These indictments are an example of working together with our partners to remove dangerous and illegal drugs and guns as well as violent offenders from our community.”
There are a wide range of charges on these subjects including felon in possession of a firearm, robbery, possession with intent to possess/distribute narcotics, as well as possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes and crimes of violence.
The following individuals, all from Fayetteville and surrounding areas, face federal prosecution resulting from VCAP:
- Norman Vincent Brown, age 33, felon in possession of a firearm
- Malik Crawford, age 26, interference with commerce by robbery and possession of firearm during a crime of violence
- Joseph Monroe Griffin, age 33, felon in possession of a firearm
- Ondrilleis Malloy, age 26, felon in possession of a firearm
- Demarco McLucas, age 22, felon in possession of a firearm
- Tammy Michelle Mitchell, age 42, felon in possession of a firearm
- Anthony Thomas, age 27, interference with commerce by robbery and possession of firearm during a crime of violence
- Samuel Thompson, age 20, possession of a machinegun and felon in possession of a firearm
- Zaire Whitten, age 26, felon in possession of a firearm
The following defendants were indicted as part of an OCDETF investigation:
- Eric David Black, age 30, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl; possession with intent to distribute fentanyl; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
- Robert James Colt, a/k/a “RJ,” age 38, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl; possession with intent to distribute fentanyl; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm by a felon.
- Jean Raymond Desire, a/k/a “Krim,” age 50, conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine; distribution of 50 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine; and distribution of a quantity of cocaine and aiding and abetting.
- Rashard Antwon Hardy, a/k/a “Gump,” age 42, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine and distribution of 50 grams or more of a mixture of methamphetamine and abetting.
- Rick Derrell McIntyre, age 44, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine; distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
- Laron Marcell McIntyre, a/k/a “Rat,” age 48, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine; distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
- Natadja Denae Owen, age 26, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine; distribution of 50 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine and aiding and abetting; and distribution of a quantity of cocaine and aiding and abetting.
- Kenneth Brandon Pomeroy, Jr., a/k/a “Spazz,” age 38, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl; possession with intent to distribute fentanyl; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
The VCAP initiative is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement.
An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Updated June 29, 2023