Fourteen Individuals Indicted Federally for Drug Trafficking in Wilmington
WILMINGTON, NC—United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced today that fourteen individuals from Wilmington have been charged in Criminal Indictments in connection with drug trafficking offenses. VICTOR FRANCISO VALLADARES, 32, JUSTICE DEVON PRICE, 24, SHAMIKA TARONA FENNELL, 27, TONY SHAHEEN DAVIS, 37, VICTOR MANUEL DAVILA, 55, DEMOND NAKAI FLOWERS, 42, PEARLIE ARMSTRONG, 48, RONALD LEE HARRY, 34, and ALICIA DRAYTON, 25 were charged in a 31 Count Indictment as part of an organization that distributed large quantities of heroin, phencycline (PCP), and engaged in money laundering. Additionally, JERMAINE DALE ROGERS, 36, HARLEE BARSHEEN TOMER, 40, PATRICK MCMILLIAN BRAGG, 28, TYQUAWN WASHINGTON, 21 and VINCENT BRUCE JACKSON, 50 were charged in separate Criminal Indictments for offenses related to the distribution of heroin. Initial appearances were held in Wilmington today for ten of the defendants indicted.
If convicted on the offenses, the defendants could face maximum penalties of between 20 years and life imprisonment.
“Street gangs spread violence and fear throughout our communities. While dismantling gangs has long been a priority for the FBI, we are working with our law enforcement partners with increased manpower and increased urgency to address current threats across our state. This investigation is an outstanding example of what federal, state, and local law enforcement can accomplish when we attack the gangs that operate in our neighborhoods,” said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina.
Wayne Dixie, Special Agent in Charge of ATF stated, “Under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) “Frontline” initiative we will vigorously work with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to ensure gang members that use violence against civilians and law enforcement officers are brought to justice. I believe the law enforcement community has come to realize that we all must deal with gang violence and that the only way we’re going to win against gangs is by working together. Subsequently, the joint investigation into this violent gang and today’s joint operations to apprehend them reflects ATF’s and our law enforcement partners resolve to reduce gang violence.”
“Today’s arrests represent months of hard work and cooperation through a multi-agency effort, says Ralph Evangelous, Wilmington Chief of Police “Our long-time partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement were critical to the success of this investigation. I commend all who were involved in removing these violent offenders from our streets and making Wilmington a safer place for all.”
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Wilmington, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (ATF) Wilmington, the United States Marshals Service, Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Wilmington Police Department and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina is handling the prosecution of these cases.
The charges contained in this indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.