Fifteen Individuals Indicted in Charlotte-area Drug Conspiracy with Gang Ties
Investigation Links Suspects to Drugs, a “Crack House,” Robberies, and Firearms Violations
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 25, 2009|
CHARLOTTE, NC—Fifteen individuals, most of whom are from Charlotte, were indicted on federal drug conspiracy and other charges arising from their participation in an organization with ties to the criminal street gang "United Blood Nation," commonly known as "Bloods," U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert, FBI Special Agent in Charge of North Carolina Operations Nathan T. Gray, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe announced today. Charges contained in the 41-count indictment range from drug conspiracy involving cocaine, heroin, and marijuana; operation of a "crack house" at 2317 Dundeen Street in Charlotte; conspiracies to commit robberies; and counts alleging illegal use and possession of firearms.
"Today's indictment underscores our ongoing commitment to eradicate violent drug gangs," said U.S. Attorney Shappert. "It also reinforces the vital partnership between the FBI and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Law enforcement partnerships are critical to our success. The leadership demonstrated by FBI and CMPD benefits the entire community."
The six—month—long investigation by the FBI and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department culminated today with the unsealing of the 48-page federal indictment following the arrests this morning of 13 of the indicted suspects. The indictment was filed in federal court in Charlotte on Thursday, February 19, 2009 and had remained under seal until today. The targeted enforcement action carried out this morning led to the seizure of seven firearms and the execution of four search warrants and13 arrest warrants related to the case. A list of all the defendants and their current status is provided at the end of this release.
"This indictment shows how team work and commitment put in by dedicated members of law enforcement can bring about change in this city," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Nathan T. Gray, of Charlotte. "We have shown that when agencies work together, we have the power to bring down entire gangs. We will continue to do all we can to make sure people walk through their neighborhoods and not fear gang violence."
The indictment alleges that the defendants are members, or associates, and/or narcotics suppliers/dealers with members and associates of the criminal street gang "United Blood Nation" ("Bloods"). It is further alleged in the indictment that the defendants conduct the bulk of their drug trafficking and related criminal activity in the area of Charlotte along Beatties Ford Road, specifically between Capps Hill Mine Road and Brookshire Boulevard. Known generally as the "Beatties Ford Road corridor," this Charlotte community, the indictment alleges, is where the defendants have derived much of their income from the sale of narcotics. In addition, defendants are alleged to have both sold and purchased narcotics in or around dwellings, referred to by special names, all located in the Beatties Ford Road corridor of Charlotte. Another source of income for the defendants, the indictment alleges, came from the commission of robberies against other drug dealers where both drugs and drug proceeds were obtained by force, violence and intimidation.
In addition to the drug conspiracy count, three defendants are charged with federal firearms violations, and all defendants are each charged individually with using a telephone in committing or causing the commission of acts constituting a felony. Four separate robbery conspiracies are alleged, along with 15 separate counts alleging possession with intent to distribute drugs. The indictment also includes a Notice of Forfeiture and Finding of Probable Cause that defendants forfeit to the United States all of the property involved in the offenses with which they are charged in the indictment, and all property traceable to such offenses. Currency, firearms, and vehicles listed in the Notice of Forfeiture include the sum of approximately $100,000 in U.S. currency; a 7.62 semi—automatic assault rifle and ammunition; a Rossi .357 Revolver and ammunition; a 2008 Cadillac Escalade, a 2008 Jeep Commander, and a 2006 Dodge Charger.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe said, "Today's operation impacts the entire city. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and all of its law enforcement partners, will continue to work extremely hard to remove the fear and intimidation caused by gangs in our neighborhoods. Our strategy is to root out this type of criminal activity."
The investigation and indictment announced today represents the third such case in two years in which known gang membership and/or ties, drug distribution activity, firearms possession and violence, are all being carried out in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County area of the Western District of North Carolina. In March of 2007 Charlotte's Hidden Valley Kings gang was indicted in federal court; all defendants in that case were sentenced to heavy prison terms in December 2008. In June 2008, Charlotte's MS-13 gang was indicted in federal court; the case is set for trial in U.S. District Court in Charlotte in June 2009.
Each defendant in today's indictment faces heavy fines and a long prison term under the statutes, if convicted. However, it is important to note that any sentence received upon conviction will be influenced by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which the Court consults in order to determine each defendant's actual sentence. Sentences are based upon a formula that takes into account the severity and characteristics of each offense and each defendant's criminal history, if any.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. In the American justice system, a person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty in a court of law.
The case is the product of a six—months' investigation led by the FBI and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department with significant contributions made by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Gastonia, NC, Police Department. The prosecution is being handled for the government by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Zolot, Western District of North Carolina Gang Coordinator, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelli Ferry.
The following defendants are charged in the indictment:
- Jason Campbell, also known as "Dawg," and "Slim," age 26, of Charlotte
- In federal custody Jawaad Nash, also known as "Wad," age 26, of Charlotte
- In federal custody Dontrey Lashaun Harrison, also known as "Shaun," age 34, of Charlotte
- In federal custody Malik Billings, age 25, of Charlotte
- In federal custody Michael Greene, also known as "Mike," age 31, of Charlotte
- Not arrested Tavarus Sturdivant, also known as "TV," age 27, of Charlotte
- In federal custody James Lamar Vaughn, also known as "Brother Man" and "Brah Man," age 42, of Charlotte
- In federal custody Garwin Harris, also known as "Monk," age 54, of Charlotte
- In federal custody Marco Wigfall, age 23, of Charlotte
- In federal custody Felicia Baucum, age 29, of Charlotte
- In federal custody Robert Springs, also known as "B—Dog" and "Bobby," age 54, of Charlotte
- In federal custody Joey Williams, also known as "Joe," age 30, of Charlotte
- In federal custody Daryl Gibbs, also known as "Ralph," age 32, address unknown
- In federal custody Sanchez Hudson, also known as "Chez," age 26, address unknown
- In federal custody Pamela Dooley, age 45, of Charlotte
- Not arrested United States v. Campbell, et al Docket Number 3:09cr39