Multiple Defendants Sentenced in Major Organized Crime Operation Spanning Multiple States
GREENSBORO – Three defendants were sentenced this week in federal court for conspiracy to commit drug trafficking offenses after a major, multi-state organized crime operation, announced United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston of the Middle District of North Carolina.
MICHAEL DALE BLACKMON, age 40 of Benson, North Carolina, and JEFFERY SCOTT JONES, age 59, of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, were sentenced to a 114-month term of imprisonment and a 192-month term of imprisonment, respectively, by the Honorable William L. Osteen, Jr., United States District Judge in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on November 21, 2022. In addition to prison time, JONES was ordered to serve five years of supervised release and to pay a $4,000 fine, and BLACKMON was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay a $3,000 fine. They were charged under indictment along with five co-defendants in case number 1:22CR177 for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. TAMMY LYNN WAGONER, age 48, of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, was sentenced today to a 120-month term of imprisonment for the same offense. In addition to prison time, WAGONER was ordered to serve five years of supervised release. BLACKMON, JONES, WAGONER, and their 4 other codefendants were indicted separately from an additional 14 individuals for the same offenses, with the others being indicted in case number 1:22CR25. Those defendants were also charged under federal indictment on February 22, 2022, with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin, a violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846 and 841(b)(1)(A), 841(b)(1)(B), and 841(b)(1)(C). Defendants in this case have received sentences of 41 to 300 months’ imprisonment, with additional sentencings scheduled for February, 2023.
According to court records, beginning in 2020, several local and federal law enforcement agencies began an investigation into a multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking organization that was coordinating shipments of methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin into the Middle District of North Carolina. The poly-drug trafficking organization, based in Mexico, was operating in several jurisdictions within the United States, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and California. Members of this organization had previously been convicted in the Middle District of North Carolina for drug trafficking through multiple jurisdictions across various states.
“I am thankful for the work of our law enforcement partners in taking down a drug trafficking organization that has impacted so many communities in North Carolina and our neighboring states,” said U. S. Attorney Sandra J. Hairston. “The impact of illegal drug trafficking reaches all corners of our community, and the pursuit of these organizations remains a top priority in the Department of Justice.”
The investigation was jointly undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and sheriffs’ offices and police departments across North Carolina. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jake Pryor.
This prosecution was brought as a part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s drug supply reduction strategy. OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.