Task force busts drug ring
By PHILIP SAYBLACK
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
A Rocky Mount-based drug ring has taken a significant hit to its operations thanks to a nearly yearlong operation conducted by the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force.
The task force held a press conference Monday at the Nash County Sheriff’s Office to make the announcement. Sheriff Keith Stone said the operation — called the “Dismantlement of the Rayfield Morgan Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO)” by the task force — began in August 2016, adding the investigation that led to the operation started long before the arrests happened.
As a result of the group’s efforts, 15 people were arrested and are facing various drug, weapons and other charges. They are Ruperto Vasquez Camacho, 60, of Nashville; Pamela Camacho, 44, of Nashville; Daniel Vazquez, 33, of Norwood; Rayfield Morgan, 38, of Nashville; Michael Dangelo Knight, 43, of Zebulon; Shameka Morgan, 36, of Nashville; Kevin Biddle, 53, of Tarboro; Charlie James Thigpen Jr., 38, of Hobgood; Kendrick Spruill, 41, of Rocky Mount; Edward Damon Pierce, 37, of Rocky Mount; Tameika Horne, 30, of Rocky Mount; Robert Bruce Armstrong Jr., 60, of Tarboro; Reginald Draughn, 46, of Tarboro; Michael Jermaine Pittman, 37, of Nashville and Terrell Jamal Webb, 29, of Scotland Neck.
Stone said the most recent of the arrests made in the operation came last week. At least 10 of the 15 people arrested are scheduled to face the charges Thursday in N.C. District Court in Nashville, according to court records. He did not know how many of the people arrested in the operation are still behind bars. Stone stressed more arrests are expected as the investigation into the drug ring continues but stopped short of releasing suspects’ identities or how soon the arrests would happen.
More than $400,000 in cash was seized in the operation along with 70 grams of methamphetamine, 200 grams of crack cocaine, four kilograms of cocaine, an assortment of prescription pills, an unknown quantity of marijuana, nine fire arms, several vehicles, and other assets.
Stone offered thanks and praise to all of the agents, officers and deputies involved in the operation, stressing their combined efforts made the operation a success.
“I want to thank the Drug Enforcement Agency for what they do,” Stone said. “I want to thank the State Bureau of Investigation for the technology that helped with the operation. I also commend the officers and deputies working the streets on this and making a difference every day. There is no way any of this could have happened without the cooperation of the agencies involved.”
Spring Hope Police Chief Anthony Puckett agreed.
“Everybody involved put in a lot of time and effort to make this happen,” Puckett said. “It was a collaborative effort.”
Stone sent a message to anyone who might step up to take the place of the suspects arrested as he closed Monday’s press conference.
“They need to look at what these guys are facing,” Stone said. “Eventually, what they do will catch up with them.”