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Cops bust gang drug operation

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Authorities say 520 bags of heroin, nearly $14,000 in cash, three handguns and an unspecified amount of crack cocaine was seized Tuesday from a house on Long Avenue.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Twin Counties authorities raided a drug distribution spot operated by a Rocky Mount street gang, seizing drugs and guns, local law enforcement officials announced Wednesday.

Authorities said Sex Money Murder, a local set of the Bloods, was trafficking heroin and cocaine through a house at 813 Long Ave. The drugs were being sold in local communities, said Lt. E.W. Muse, a detective in the Criminal Investigations Division of the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office.

In a joint operation Tuesday evening, the Rocky Mount Police Department Special Response Team entered the Long Avenue house first, followed by investigators.

“Several of the gang members ran as investigators approached the house,” Muse said. “All of the subjects were caught within seconds.”

Eight documented gang members were charged with numerous crimes, including firearms violations. Authorities seized 520 bags of heroin, nearly $14,000 in cash, three handguns and an unspecified amount of crack cocaine.

“One of the handguns recovered was stolen earlier this year from the Rocky Mount area,” Muse said. “Another of the firearms had the serial numbers removed.”

The raid is the latest showing of renewed cooperation between local law enforcement agencies. Deputies and officers with the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office and the Rocky Mount Police Department teamed up to investigate illegal activities at the residence and execute the search warrant as part of the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force.

During the weeks-long investigation leading up to the raid, detectives identified several known gang members selling heroin and crack from the Long Avenue house.

“The primary use of this house was to sell drugs,” Muse said.

Edgecombe County Sheriff Clee Atkinson said he reached out to interim Rocky Mount Police Chief Willie Williams when he returned to the city at the end of last year to lead the police department.

“Chief Williams was on board immediately to work together to make our area safer,” Atkinson said. “With a combined effort between these agencies, we will be able to better serve the citizens and to deter some of the criminal activity in the community.”

Williams said the raid was part of a renewed effort by his department to partner with the sheriffs in Edgecombe and Nash counties. The collaboration is meant to make local communities safer and drug free.

Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said it takes a combined effort to get the job done.

“If law enforcement doesn’t work together, the criminals win and the citizens suffer,” Stone said. “The Nash County Sheriff’s Office will continue to partner with our neighboring agencies to put a stop to the drug traffickers in our areas.”

Atkinson said his deputies will continue to work with neighboring agencies to ensure neighborhoods and residents are safe.

“We want the citizens of Edgecombe County to have peace of mind in their homes and communities,” Atkinson said.

Authorities charged the following eight suspects with possession or trafficking of heroin, cocaine or Suboxone, a prescription medication used to manage opioid dependence. Their bonds ranged from $50,000 to $500,000. Other criminal counts are listed with each arrestee:

■ Joshua Cleveland Mabry, known on the street as Jmurda, 29, of East Burnette Street in Pinetops, was charged with two counts of possession of a firearm by felon. Mabry was convicted in 2013 of conspiring with a Wal-Mart cashier to pass thousands in counterfeit money. Other convictions include serious assault, assault by pointing a gun and resisting police.

■ Jeffrey Merritt Jr., with the street name Bone, 26, of Isabella Street in Rocky Mount, was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. His previous convictions include firearm possession and larceny of dogs.

■ Jahquan Pierce, also known as Tyleek, 21, of Clark Street in Rocky Mount, was charged with possession of a firearm with removed serial numbers. He was previously charged with resisting a police officer.

■ Johnny Hugh Williams III, 25, of Thru Street in Rocky Mount, was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a firearm with removed serial numbers. His previous convictions include drug possession and breaking and entering.

■ Jakavis Frankie-Ramel Whaley, 23, of Planters Street in Rocky Mount, was charged possession of a stolen firearm. His previous convictions include firearms violations.

■ Kelvin Jerome Wright, 32, of Amos Street in Rocky Mount, was charged with maintaining a dwelling to sell heroin. His previous convictions include carrying a concealed weapon.

■ Davelle Lashon Debro, 27, of Center Street in Rocky Mount, was charged with possession of marijuana. His previous convictions include interfering with an emergency communication.

■ Darius Eburg, 25, of Shelby MaCrae Lane of Pinetops, was charged with possession of marijuana. His previous convictions include drug possession.

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