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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 4, 2015

Last 3 Of 27 Defendants Sentenced On Drug And Gun Charges

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The remaining three of the 27 defendants charged in connection with an investigation into drug trafficking and illegal firearm possession in Catawba County were sentenced today, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Wayne L. Dixie, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division and Chief Tom Adkins of the Hickory Police Department (HPD) join Acting U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.

Lavoris Hector, 27, of Hickory, N.C., was sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.  Kenneth Norman, 36, of Hickory, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and was sentenced to 15 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.  Tyree Rhinehardt, 22, of Hickory, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and three years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

According to filed court documents and court proceedings, the defendants were charged following a seven-month investigation which began in October 2012, targeting individuals who participated in illegal drug transactions and gun trafficking in and around Hickory.  Over the course of the investigation law enforcement seized more than 80 firearms, including 53 handguns, 19 rifles, 10 shotguns and one short barrel shotgun.   Law enforcement also seized more than 1,425 grams of narcotics, including over 1,125 grams of cocaine and more than 230 grams of marijuana, with a total street value of over $55,000.

The following defendants have been sentenced to date, in connection with the case:

  • Kerston Deshawn Edwards was sentenced to 188 months in prison and four years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Damion Eugene Houston was sentenced to 120 months in prison and five years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Jonathan Marquis Meyers was sentenced to 96 months in prison and four years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Traquon Rashaad Davis was sentenced to 84 months in prison and four years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
  • Brandon Jaqwan Sifford was sentenced to 81 months in prison and five years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
  • Christopher Durand Myers was sentenced to 78 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Damion Jordan Armstrong was sentenced to 77 months in prison and five years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession of a firearm by a felon.
  • Anthony Roger Mull was sentenced to 77 months in prison and four years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession of a firearm by a felon.
  • Xavier Ahmad Cade was sentenced to 68 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon.
  • Keon Maurquie Gaither was sentenced to 64 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession of a firearm by an obliterated serial number.
  • William Shalon Linebarger was sentenced to 63 months in prison and four years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Anthony Lamar Mason was sentenced to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Brandon Colbert was sentenced to 60 months in prison and four years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Donald Lavar Ramseur was sentenced to 60 months in prison and four years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine and three counts of aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Cortez Lamar Rogers was sentenced to 47 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Chaetez Sean Clayton was sentenced to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Larry Elwood Steptoe was sentenced to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Donnell Lavon Thomas was sentenced to 38 months in prison and one year of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon.
  • Larry Jermaine Linebarger was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine and aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Kadeem Jamal Albright was sentenced to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine; one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine and one count of aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Antonio Rashawn Whitworth was sentenced to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Kianta Martese Davis was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by threeyears of supervised release.He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Kenteze Rayvon Martin was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Eric Jay Ramirez was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty to felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Paris Michael Thompson was sentenced to 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Isreal Lerock Linebarger was sentenced to probation.  He pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful dealing in firearms.
  • Marquice Tyrone Streeter was sentenced to time served.  He pleaded guilty to conspiracy with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

The investigation was conducted by the ATF and Hickory PD.Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Dillon of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is leading the prosecution.

Updated May 4, 2015