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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 2, 2016

Sixteen Charged In Drug Conspiracy Operating In Buncombe And Rutherford Counties

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – United States Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose announced today that 16 individuals are facing multiple federal drug charges for their involvement in a drug conspiracy.  A criminal indictment was returned on May 18, 2016, and was unsealed today in federal court.  Law enforcement arrested 11 of the 16 charged on Tuesday during an early morning round-up.  Of the remaining five defendants, one is currently in state custody on state charges and four others have not been arrested yet.

According to allegations contained in the criminal indictment, from on or about September 2014, to about December 2015, the defendants operated as a drug conspiracy responsible for trafficking crack cocaine in and around Buncombe and Rutherford Counties and surrounding areas.The 16 defendants named in the 91-count indictment are each charged with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and related drug offenses.They are:

  • Marquise Brown, 27, of Asheville, NC. (not arrested)

  • Carlos Byrd, 34, of Asheville, NC. (arrested)

  • Christopher Drayton, 27, of Black Mountain, NC. (arrested)

  • Charles Eric Freeman, 50, of Rutherfordton, NC. (arrested)

  • Tyquise Deandre Griffin, 22, of Asheville, NC. (arrested)

  • Aaron Jones, 35, of Asheville, NC. (in state custody)

  • Richard Kimble, 44, of Asheville, NC. (arrested)

  • Kevin Lamont Logan, 42, of Rutherfordton, NC. (arrested)

  • Roderick Martin, 34, of Asheville, NC. (not arrested)

  • Caliph Devon Mayo, 27, of Canton, NC. (arrested)

  • Tyler McAfee, Age, 23, of Asheville, NC. (arrested)

  • Michael Tyrone Moore, 27, of Asheville, NC. (not arrested)

  • Levar William Morris, 36, of Asheville, NC. (arrested)

  • Quinton Javon Mosley, 33, of Rutherfordton, NC. (not arrested)

  • Danyail Antonio Pea, 32, of Asheville, NC. (arrested)

  • Reco Lamar Mosley, 33, of Asheville, NC. (arrested)

 (See chart below for federal charges and penalties for each defendant).

“Today’s arrests are the culmination of a 15-month long investigation conducted by our federal and local law enforcement partners.The defendants charged in the indictment, some of whom have alleged gang ties, operated a drug conspiracy distributing crack cocaine, an illegal substance known for its incredibly high addiction rates and severe, even deadly, effects.The arrest of these individuals will bring immediate relief to neighborhoods affected by their drug trafficking activities and drug-fueled violence. We will continue to work alongside our law enforcement partners to conduct targeted investigations and stem the flow of drugs in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Rose.

Special Agent in Charge Daniel R. Salter of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stated, “Today is a victory not only for the multitude of law enforcement agencies who dismantled this organization, but for the citizens of Buncombe and Rutherford Counties. Now that these criminals have been removed from the streets, the poisonous drugs that they would have sold will never reach the consumer. This effort would not have been successful without the high level of cooperation between our federal, state and local law enforcement counterparts.”

“ATF will continue to work closely with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to focus on reducing violent crime in our communities by targeting drug traffickers and the associated violent criminal activity,” said C.J. Hyman, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“The strong working relationship between the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, DEA and the U.S. Attorney's Office is a beneficial force multiplier. Many times, narcotics investigations leave county lines and even cross into other states. Having the ability to reach out and further an investigation with federal assistance is the only answer to cases like these. The results of this investigation will have positive effects in our county for a long time,” said Sheriff Chris Francis of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

Those arrested this week will appear in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis Howell. Arrest warrants have been issued for Marquise Brown, Reco Lamar Mosely, Michael Tyrone Moore and Roderick Martin. Aaron Jones is currently in state custody and will appear in federal court on the federal charges at a later date.

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. 

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Rose praised the outstanding efforts of special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Daniel R. Salter; the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Holloman III; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John A. Strong; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge C.J. Hyman; deputies of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Sheriff Van Duncan and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Sheriff Chris Francis; and officers of the Asheville Police Department under the direction of Chief Tammy Hooper for their work in investigating this case. U.S. Attorney Rose also noted the invaluable assistance provided by the Columbus Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Kent of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville is prosecuting the case.

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

Updated June 3, 2016