Violent Drug Trafficking Organization Dismantled
RALEIGH –The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, John Stuart Bruce, announced that Monday a federal jury found SANDY DARNELL LEDBETTER, a/k/a B Stacks, 26, of Durham, guilty of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime; and aiding and abetting the same. At sentencing, LEDBETTER faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five (5) years’ imprisonment, and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Today, co-defendant NIRILLA ALLEN-KEARNEY, 49, was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment for Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments in relation to this drug trafficking organization.
Previously, the following co-defendants pleaded guilty. Their information is below:
Maurio Tajara Mitchell, 34, of Durham, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute five (5) kilograms or more of cocaine, one (1) kilogram or more of heroin and a quantity of marijuana; Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime; and Distribution and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Marijuana. Mitchell faces a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen (15) years’ imprisonment and faces up to life imprisonment. His sentencing is set for the November 6, 2017, term of court.
Mark Anthony Daye, 47 of Durham pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute five (5) kilograms or more of cocaine, one (1) kilogram or more of heroin and a quantity of marijuana; and to Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments. Daye faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, and up to life imprisonment. His sentencing is set for the December 4, 2017, term of court.
Brian Jarrell Scott, 31, of Durham, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute 28 Grams or More of Cocaine Base, and Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On April 5, 2017, Scott was sentenced to ten (10) years (120 months) of imprisonment.
Demarcus Allen Medley, 26, of Durham, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine; and Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments. His sentencing is set for October 23, 2017.
Keijuane Mantese Mack, 22, of Durham, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to distribute marijuana and on December 15, 2016, was sentenced to five (5) months’ imprisonment.
Rashad Jackson, 25, of Durham, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Marijuana, and on December 8, 2016, was sentenced to nine (9) months’ imprisonment.
Beginning in January of 2016, the Raleigh-Durham Safe Streets Task Force of the FBI conducted a Title III Wiretap investigation into the Mario Mitchell Drug Trafficking Organization (“Mitchell DTO”). The investigation revealed that the Mitchell DTO is responsible for shipping and receiving large quantities of powder cocaine in the Triangle area, provided by cartel members in Los Angeles, California. This powder cocaine was further broken down and distributed to mid-level and street-level dealers in the Durham, North Carolina, and surrounding areas. This organization was supported and protected by the members of the Omega Line of the United Blood Nation, active on the south side of Durham. This violent street gang is responsible for a significant portion of the gang violence that Durham has seen over the past several years. The evidence at trial showed that LEDBETTER, an amateur rapper on both the “Faculty Entertainment” label run by MITCHELL, and his own label “YF,” was responsible for distribution of narcotics and possession of weapons in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities on and near the area of Enterprise Street on the south side of Durham. LEDBETTER was primarily supplied by MITCHELL, who, along with DAYE, had the connection to the Los Angeles cartel members. Over the course of the conspiracy, LEDBETTER was arrested with multiple weapons and ammunition, spent shell casings tied to shootings in the Durham area, multiple ski masks, fifteen cellular telephones, over $14,000 in United States Currency, a money counter, and drug paraphernalia including digital scales and Pyrex containers used to cook cocaine base (crack), which also field tested positive for cocaine residue.
This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation investigating narcotics distribution and gang activity.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, the Internal Revenue Serivce Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Durham Police Department and the Durham County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Leslie Cooley prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.