17 drug traffickers sentenced
By Jack Stephens
Published in News on May 7, 2004 2:00 PM
Seventeen drug traffickers from Wayne County have been convicted in federal court, and three more are awaiting trials.
The defendants were arrested during Operation Cleansweep, a joint task force that began three years ago with Goldsboro police, Wayne County sheriff's deputies and federal officers.
The results of the campaign were announced Thursday during a news conference at City Hall.
The 17 convicted were sentenced to an average of more than 11 years in prison without parole. Because they were tried in federal, not state, court, their sentences were longer. Some defendants also got a significantly longer sentence because they used a firearm. Nine of the 17, prosecutors said, were considered career criminals.
Goldsboro Police Chief Tim Bell said drug dealers "think that they can terrorize people with drive-by shootings. We now have the dedicated resources behind us, and we will take care of the problem."
Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders said, "Drugs and violence will no longer be tolerated in our county."
During the campaign, officers seized more than 15 pounds of cocaine, 26 pounds of marijuana and 22 ounces of methamphetamine. They also confiscated $154,000, 17 vehicles and property valued at $80,000.
The goal of the campaign was to dismantle a drug trafficking organization through prosecution and seize all drug-related assets. Officers also sought to enlist the cooperation of arrested members.
One defendant was so bold that he completed drug deals in his home across the street from Rosewood High School. Another who operated a truck repair service had been wanted by authorities for years.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives joined the local agencies in the operation.
"We come to tell the public good news," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Evenson. "Once we get information about drug dealers, we get more. This will not be a safe community to be a drug dealer any more."
Evenson predicted that more campaigns will be conducted in Wayne County.
District Attorney Branny Vickory explained that local authorities needed help in a difficult economy. He said they did not have the manpower, money and resources to complete the operation. The only way, he said, was to join forces with other agencies.
"The most important people are the drug agents," Bell said. "They do the most dangerous job." Then he recognized the members of the 20-year-old Goldsboro-Wayne County Drug Squad.
Winders also praised the officers who conducted the campaign.
"It takes a combined effort to combat drug activity," he said. "It's taken years to get these people well insulated ƒ People don't know how much money and time has been spent in making these arrests."
The defendants were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Ontjes and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Imelda Pate, a member of Vickory's staff in Lenoir County.
Ontjes joined Evenson, DEA Resident Agent Don Hansen, ATFE Resident Agent Jim Modzelewski and local officials for the announcement.
Those awaiting trial or sentencing are:
*James Earl Best, 59, South Herman Street, four felony counts involving the sale and distribution of cocaine.
*Daimon Rashawn Teachey, 24, East Vine Street, one felony count of distribution of crack cocaine and three felony counts of firearms violations.
*Corey Ramon Best, 31, Durham Lake Road, Dudley, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Those convicted with the charge and sentence:
*Montrello D. Reid, 27, East Walnut Street, distribution of crack cocaine, 188 months.
*Michael Lavando Harrison, 32, Peele Road, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, 248 months.
*Taurus Jermaine Green, 27, Miller Street, distribution of crack cocaine, 72 months.
*Tyrone Lee Hicklin, 36, North Slocumb Street, distribution of crack cocaine, 168 months.
*Kenneth Earl Sauls, 52, Ivey Court, conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, 120 months.
*Marquell DeShaun Hocutt, 27, Brownrigg Street, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, 228 months.
*James Rogers Prioleau (also known as Cecil Patterson), 29, Cella Street, distribution of crack cocaine, 140 months.
*Flavio Salgardo Alvarez, 30, Sanford, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, 60 months.
*Nicandro Salgardo Alvarez, 25, Sanford, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, 57 months.
*Kenneth Eugene Taylor, 31, N.C. 111, Albertson, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, 24 months.
*Manuel Moreno Fajardo, 21, N.C. 55 East, Seven Springs, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, 180 months.
*Marcus Kevin Best, 30, South Marion Drive, conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, 110 months.
*Leonard Smith Jr., 28, North John Street, conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, 196 months.
*Randy Oliver, 44, U.S. 117 South, Dudley, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, 188 months.
*Lavarius Montrego "Peewee" Thompson, 28, Force Street, conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, 126 months.
*Keydrick Earl Parker, age and address not available, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, 84 months.
*Germaine Montez Robinson, 28, Rosewood Road, distribution of crack cocaine, 168 months.
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