7 ex-NC sheriff’s deputies among 14 convicted in major drug sting


RALEIGH (WNCN) — Fourteen people – including seven current or ex-law enforcement officers — have been convicted in a massive drug sting operation that focused on areas of Eastern North Carolina, officials say.

On April 13, 2015, federal prosecutors announced the arrest of 15 people in “Operation Rockfish,” which the government said involved drug corruption among then-active law enforcement agents in the I-95 corridor of N.C.

The government said it was a major sting of cocaine and heroin operations in Northampton and Halifax counties, although fake drugs were used to lure those who were arrested.

The defendants transported what they believed were drugs and drug money for a drug trafficking organization in exchange for bribe payments — and some defendants carried firearms during this time, officials say.

On Tuesday, 9 pleaded guilty of the 14 who were convicted.

In addition to the 7 current or ex-officers, four correctional officers and two other individuals were convicted the drug trafficking organization, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney John Stuart Bruce of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Initially arrested were:

— Eight current or former officers, who all worked in North Carolina

— Three correctional officers

— Two Virginia prison employees

— One N.C. 911 dispatcher

The operation began in the Spring of 2015 when the FBI initiated an undercover investigation after claims of corruption in the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, officials say.

“Undercover agents posed as members of a large-scale drug trafficking organization that was responsible for introducing kilogram quantities of narcotics to be transported up the I-95 corridor,” the US Attorney said in a press release.

“In connection with their guilty pleas, the defendants admitted that they understood that they were recruited to work for the drug trafficking organization because of their status as law enforcement officers or ties to law enforcement,” officials added.

The investigation grew as the original targets recruited others to participate, according to officials.

The following individuals pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of North Carolina:

— Lann Tjuan Clanton, a former correctional officer with the Virginia Department of Corrections, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and firearm charges on Tuesday;

— Ikeisha Jacobs, a former sergeant with the Northampton Co. Sheriff’s Office, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy, firearm and bribery charges Tuesday;

— Jason Boone, a former captain with the Northampton Co. Sheriff’s Office, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and bribery charges Tuesday;

— Adrienne Moody, a former correctional officer with the NC Dept. of Public Safety, pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge Tuesday;

— Cory Jackson, a former deputy sheriff of the Northampton Co. Sheriff’s Office, pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge Tuesday;

— Jimmy Pair Jr., a former lieutenant with the Northampton Co. Sheriff’s Office, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and bribery charges Tuesday;

— Curtis Boone, a former deputy sheriff with the Northampton Co. Sheriff’s Office, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and bribery charges Tuesday;

— Alphonso Ponton, a former sergeant with the Virginia Department of Corrections, pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge Tuesday;

— Thomas Jefferson Allen II, a former sergeant with the Northampton Co. Sheriff’s Office, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and bribery charges Tuesday;

— Wardie Vincent Jr., a former detective sergeant with the Northampton Co. Sheriff’s Office, previously pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and firearms charges;

— Alaina Sue-Kam-Ling, a former correctional officer with the NC Dept. of Public Safety, previously pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge;

— Kavon Phillips, a former correctional officer with the NC Dept. of Public Safety, previously pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge;

— Crystal Pierce, of Raleigh, North Carolina, previously pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge; and

— Tosha Dailey, a former 911 dispatch operator for Northampton County, previously pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge.

comments powered by Disqus