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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Federal Drug Initiative Nets 19 Arrested On Federal And State Drug Offenses

A total of 28 Charged in Joint Federal and Local Law Enforcement Operation

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – United States Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose announced that during an early morning round-up FBI agents and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers arrested 19 individuals charged with federal and state drug offenses.  A federal criminal indictment returned on January 20, 2016, and unsealed today, names 20 defendants charged with multiple federal drug related offenses.  Eight others will be prosecuted in state court, bringing the total number of those charged in connection with the federal drug initiative to 28.   

John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in North Carolina and Chief Kerr Putney, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), join U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.

The six-month joint federal and local investigation aimed at reducing drug distribution and drug related criminal activity and increasing community safety in Mecklenburg County was focused on the Belmont neighborhood in Charlotte.

 “This morning’s arrests are the result of a joint law enforcement investigation targeting an area of Charlotte that has been plagued by drug trafficking and drug-related criminal activity.  I want to thank our law enforcement partners for working together in this initiative to identify and remove the individuals who continue to pose a threat to our community,” said U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.  “Also, let this be a warning, that as we work with our law enforcement partners to combat drug activity and violent crime throughout Mecklenburg County, we are keenly focused on specific neighborhoods where crime statistics are significant.  To the law abiding citizens who reside in these areas, we will continue to work hard to restore your neighborhoods as places where you can live and prosper.   To those who engage in criminal activity, our message is clear:  we will not sit on the sidelines while you continue to pollute our neighborhoods with drugs and crime,” Rose added.  

“The danger and chaos that drugs create in our local communities eats away at the ability of our citizens to live their lives peacefully.  These arrests are an outstanding example of what federal and local law enforcement can accomplish when we work together to target the individuals who threaten the safety and stability of our neighborhood streets,” said FBI’s SAC Strong.    

“The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will continue our relentless pursuit of community safety. We remain focused in our efforts and continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure neighborhoods like Belmont remain safe,” said Chief Putney.

The 20 defendants named in the federal indictment are each charged with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and related drug offenses.  They are:

  • Emmanuel Gooding, 39, of Charlotte. (not arrested yet)

  • Daniel Simpson, 32, of Charlotte.  (arrested)

  • James Dixon, 48, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Vinton Teeter, 35, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Ricki Foster, 35, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Lamont Davis, 39, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Johnny Byrd, 38 of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Jasper Toney, Jr. 24, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Miguel Mantic Perry, 36, of Charlotte. (not arrested yet)

  • Tony William Robinson, 36, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Derek Murphy, 41, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Donald Jenkins, 62, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Shawnda Craig-Houston, 41, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Rodney Scott Smith, 45, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Thomas Pearce, 26, of Charlotte. (not arrested yet)

  •  Mckinza Feaster, 26, of Charlotte. (previously in federal custody)

  • Andrea Hines, 45, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Quanard Harrison, 38, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • Kenneth Wallace, 23, of Charlotte. (arrested)

  • James Lamont Walker, 27 of Charlotte (arrested)

Sixteen of the 20 federal defendants were arrested this morning and one was already in federal custody.  Federal arrest warrants have been issued against Gooding, Perry and Pearce.

Today’s initiative netted eight additional defendants facing state drug charges.  The three arrested earlier today are Cleveland Little, Michael Young, Rochilla Harrell.  Three more individuals, Dontaie Patton, Tanisha Harris, and Charles Vaughn, Jr. are still wanted by law enforcement.  Brandon Monk and Rysuon Norris, were already in state custody on separate charges.

“My office is grateful for the strong working relationship we enjoy with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and CMPD as we all work together to keep our communities safe from illegal drugs and criminal activity associated with those drugs,” said Andrew Murray, District Attorney for Mecklenburg County, whose office will be handling the prosecution of those charged with state offenses.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Rose thanked District Attorney Murray, for his office’s continued collaboration and support.

The charges contained in the indictment are allegations.  The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

The investigation was conducted by the FBI and CMPD.  U.S. Attorney Rose also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, Gastonia Police Department and the Union County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with this investigation. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Bozin and Lambert Guinn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte are leading the prosecution.

 

Updated February 1, 2016