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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 12, 2022

US Attorney Announces 27 Indictments as Part of Federal Violent Crime Strategy

Significant Amounts of Drugs, Guns and Money Seized

RALEIGH, N.C. – Today, U.S. Attorney Michael Easley, along with federal and local law enforcement, announced ongoing and coordinated efforts to address violent crime in Raleigh and surrounding areas. The Violent Crime Action Plan (VCAP) is a collaboration of the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the Raleigh Police Department (RPD), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Wake 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 Raleigh and surrounding areas.

In late June, 27 individuals were indicted by grand juries for federal and state charges and 26 are currently in custody. As part of the initiative, six kilograms of cocaine, 600 bindles of heroin, more than 296 grams of crack, and 15 grams of fentanyl have been seized. In addition, more than $41,000, 26 firearms and more than 200 rounds of ammunition were seized. The gun seizures include a polymer 80 ghost gun.

“Last week, we saw five shooting deaths in Raleigh. Today, we want to put gun-carrying criminals on notice.  We are working with law enforcement at every level to get dangerous, illegal guns and drugs off the street and put gun and drug traffickers behind bars,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “We will use every tool available to keep our communities safe.”

“The Raleigh Police Department is proud to work alongside our federal partners to investigate and prosecute those who seek to harm our community,” stated Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson.  “The indictments in these cases are extremely impactful and will allow Raleigh residents to sleep better knowing guns, drugs, and violence are being removed from their neighborhoods.  Making Raleigh the safest city in the nation remains the top priority of the Raleigh Police Department.  We can only do so through collaboration with the community, local and state law enforcement, and our federal partners.”

“These indictments and seizures demonstrate the FBI's overall strategy and relentless determination to eradicate the drug-fueled violence plaguing our community. We are proud to work side by side with our law enforcement partners to hold these individuals accountable,” said Robert R. Wells, FBI Charlotte Special Agent in Charge. 

“The United States Marshals Service is committed to working with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to make our communities safer,” said U.S. Marshal Mike East. “This our second targeted operation to address gun violence in our neighborhoods, and we will conduct similar operations throughout the Eastern District of North Carolina in the future.”

ATF Special Agent in Charge Bennie Mims said, “ATF is proud to be a part of a focused, collaborative effort to remove these individuals from our streets and prevent them from harming our communities again.”

There are a wide range of charges on these subjects including felons in possession of firearms, possession with intent to possess/distribute narcotics, as well as possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.

The following individuals, all from Raleigh and surrounding areas, face federal prosecution for:

  • Braxton Deangleo Benton, 38 (Unlicensed dealing of firearms; Possession of ammunition by felon)
  • Elijah Jontay Cooper, 21 (Possession of a firearm by felon)
  • Ahmad Rashad Davis, 41 (Possession of a firearm by felon)
  • Kala Gail Durham, 28 (Possess with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin/fentanyl mixture; Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime)
  • William Foye, 38 (Possession of a firearm by felon; Possession with intent to distribute a quantity of fentanyl mixture; and Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime)
  • Aurel Hysa, 27 (Possession of a firearm by felon; Possession with intent to distribute quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine; Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime)
  • Shawn Jabbar Jiles, 50 (Possession of a firearm by felon; Possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine; Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime)
  • Donald Craig Melvin, 51 (Possession of a firearm by felon; Possess with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin/fentanyl mixture; Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime)
  • Bareatta Lamarr Milhouse, 22 (Possession of a firearm by felon; Possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base (crack); Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime)
  • Steven Antonio Peterson, 31 (Possession of a firearm by felon; Possession of ammunition by felon)
  • Jerome Watkins, Jr., 30 (Possession of a firearm by felon)
  • Takara Ane Wilson, 24 (False statement during the purchase of a firearm (two counts); Transfer of a firearm to a prohibited person; Unlicensed dealing of firearms)

The defendants below were part of a parallel, months-long Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Raleigh Safe Streets Task Force. An OCDETF investigation is a coordinated federal, state, and local strategy to combat drug trafficking and organized crime, and it is the nation’s primary tool to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations. 

  • Akeem Netron Holder Evans, a/k/a “King,” 32 (Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, 280 grams or more of cocaine base (crack), and a quantity of fentanyl; Possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; Distribution of a quantity of cocaine and fentanyl; Possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack); Maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, and storing any controlled substance; Possess with intent to distribute a quantity of marijuana; Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; Possession of a firearm by a felon)
  • Tray De’Vonta Evans a/k/a “Scrap,” 30 (Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, 280 grams or more of cocaine base (crack), and a quantity of fentanyl; Possession of a firearm by a felon; Distribution of a quantity of cocaine base (crack); Possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and marijuana; Maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, and storing any controlled substance; Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime)
  • William Henry Johnson, Jr., a/k/a “Coach,” 69 (Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; Possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine)
  • Kara Shontya Jones, 29 (Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and fentanyl; Possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and fentanyl)
  • Charles Jermaine Muldrow, 45 (Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine; Possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine)
  • Larry Marnecus Stanford, Jr., 40 (Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine; Maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, and storing any controlled substance; Possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine; Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime)
  • Anthony Edward Walton, 49 (Maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, and storing any controlled substance)
  • Rasaun Iran Robinson Wright, a/k/a “Ran,” 39 (Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine)

In separate, unrelated cases, the following individuals, all from Raleigh and surrounding areas, also face state prosecution for:

  • Timothy Autry, 44 (Possession of firearm by a felon; Alter/remove gun serial number; Interfere with emergency communication)
  • Jamien Baptist, 22 (Possession of firearm by a felon; Assault by pointing a gun; Carrying concealed gun)
  • Marcus Hopkins, 40 (Possession of firearm by a felon; Carrying a concealed gun; Possession of marijuana up to ½ oz; Resisting public officer)
  • D’Mani Jeter, 22 (Possession of firearm by a felon, Trafficking fentanyl by possession (two counts); Possession with intent to sell or deliver schedule II-controlled substance)
  • Donzell Jones, 23 (Possession of firearm by a felon; Carrying a concealed gun; Habitual felon)
  • Sean Neal, 52 (Possession of firearm by a felon; Habitual felon)
  • Antonio Townes, 29 (Possession of firearm by a felon; Possession of a stolen firearm; Possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana; Possession with intent to sell or deliver schedule II-controlled substance; Possession with intent to sell or deliver methamphetamine; Possession of drug paraphernalia)

VCAP is an approach that draws on close partnerships among federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as the community, to combat violence.  The initiative brings state and federal prosecutors together to prioritize the review of gun crime cases and identify and prosecute repeat offenders and criminal organizations as well as identifying and stopping the sources of guns.  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.

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. RPD, ATF, FBI, the Wake County District Attorney’s Office, and the USMS are involved in the investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brandon Boykin and Robert Dodson are the lead prosecutors for the cases, with assistance from other criminal Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the office.

An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Opioids
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated July 12, 2022