GREENSBORO – Three defendants were convicted this week in federal court of conspiracy to commit drug trafficking crimes after a large, multi-state operation, announced United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston of the Middle District of North Carolina.
MICHAEL DALE BLACKMON, age 40 of Benson, North Carolina, and JEFFERY SCOTT JONES, age 59, of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, were sentenced to 114 months and 192 months in prison, respectively, by the Honorable. William L. Osteen, Jr., United States District Judge in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on November 21, 2022. In addition to the prison term, JONES was ordered to serve five years of supervised release and pay. a fine of US$4,000, and BLACKMON was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay a fine of $3,000. They were indicted along with five other defendants in count 1:22CR177 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. TAMMY LYNN WAGONER, 48, of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for the same crime. In addition to the prison term, WAGONER was ordered to serve five years of supervised release. BLACKMON, JONES, WAGONER, and their four co-accused are different from the other 12 people for the same crime, the others being accused of crime number 1:22CR25. The defendants were also charged federally on February 22, 2022, with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846 and 841(b)(1)(A), 841(b)(1) )(B), and 841(b)(1)(C). The defendants were sentenced to 41 to 300 months in prison, with further sentencing scheduled for February, 2023.
According to court records, beginning in 2020, several local and federal agencies began investigating a multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking ring that organized the shipment of methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin to the Middle District of North Carolina. The drug trafficking organization, based in Mexico, was operating in several locations within the United States, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and California. Members of this organization have previously been convicted in the Middle District of North Carolina of selling drugs through multiple locations in various locations.
“I am grateful for the work of our law enforcement officers in dismantling the drug trafficking organization that has affected many communities in North Carolina and the surrounding states,” said United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston. “The impact of the illegal drug trade reaches every corner of our community, and the pursuit of these organizations remains a priority in the Department of Justice.”
The investigation was conducted jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and sheriff’s offices and police departments in North Carolina. The case was filed by United States Attorney Jake Pryor.
The prosecution was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, a central part of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction program. The OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct a comprehensive, multidisciplinary crackdown on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its federal members in collaboration with state and local governments. The main task of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and eliminate the most problematic drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those involved in the supply of drugs in the country.