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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Violent Drug Trafficking Organization Dismantled, Sentenced to Total of 119 Years of Imprisonment

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announced that yesterday in federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced the three remaining members of the Maurio Mitchell Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO), responsible for shipping and distributing large quantities of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana within the Eastern District of North Carolina.  Several of the members of this DTO are also members of the United Blood Nation’s Omega Line, a violent street gang operating within the Triangle area. 

 

The members of this violent drug trafficking organization received the following sentences:

Yesterday, Maurio Tajara Mitchell, 34, of Durham, was sentenced to 35 years (420 months) of imprisonment for 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.   

 

Yesterday, Mark Anthony Daye, 47 of Durham, was sentenced to 30 years (362 months) of imprisonment for 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 Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments.    

 

Yesterday, Sandy Darnell Ledbetter, Jr., 27, of Durham, was sentenced to 20 years (240 months) of imprisonment after being found guilty at trial of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.

 

On October 12, 2017, Keith Lamont Tutt, 40, of Durham, was sentenced to sixteen (16) years (192 months) of imprisonment for Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Five(5) Kilograms or More of Cocaine, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.

 

On April 5, 2017, Brian Jarrell Scott, 31, of Durham, was sentenced to ten (10) years (120 months) of imprisonment for 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 November 3, 2017, Demarcus Allen Medley, 26, of Durham, was sentenced to five years (60 months) of imprisonment for Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine; and Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments.

 

On September 12, 2017, NIRILLA ALLEN-KEARNEY, 49, was sentenced to two years (24 months) of imprisonment for Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments in relation to this drug trafficking organization.

 

On December 15, 2016, Keijuane Mantese Mack, 22, of Durham, was sentenced to five (5) months’ imprisonment for Conspiracy to distribute Marijuana.

 

On December 8, 2016, Rashad Jackson, 25, of Durham, was sentenced to nine (9) months’ imprisonment for Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Marijuana.

 

 

Beginning in January of 2016, the Raleigh-Durham Safe Streets Task Force of the FBI conducted a Title III Wiretap investigation into the Maurio 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 large portion of the gang violence that Durham has seen over the past several years.  The members of the DTO were primarily supplied by MITCHELL, who, along with DAYE, had the connection to the Los Angeles cartel members.

         

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Raleigh/Durham Safe Streets Task Force; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations; 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.  This case is part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Investigation within the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated December 14, 2017