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Feds Nab 19 In Drug, Firearm Counts PDF Print
Written by DOJ Press Release   
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 15:43

Federal and local law enforcement agencies arrested 19 suspects today in Hickory, N.C. and  the  surrounding area  charged with drug trafficking,  illegal firearm possession  and  other  federal  offenses,  announced  Anne  M.  Tompkins,  U.S.  Attorney  for  the Western District of North Carolina. Another nine individuals were arrested on state charges. U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Wayne L. Dixie, Special  Agent  in  Charge  of  the  U.S.  Bureau  of  Alcohol,  Tobacco,  Firearms  and  Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division,  Chief  Tom Adkins of the Hickory Police Department (HPD); and James C. Gaither, Jr., District Attorney for Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties. The  federal  indictments were returned by a  grand jury on  October 15 and 16, 2013, but remained  sealed  until  today’s  arrests.   The  investigation  began  in  October  2012,  targeting individuals  who  participated  in  illegal  drug  transactions  and  gun  trafficking  in  and  around Hickory.   The  seven-month  anti-violence  initiative  resulted  in  the  seizure  of  more  than  80 firearms,  including  53  handguns,  19  rifles,  10  shotguns  and  one  short  barrel  shotgun.     Law enforcement  also  seized  more  than  1,425  grams  of  narcotics,  including  over  1,125  grams  of cocaine and more than 230 grams of marijuana, with a total street value of over $55,000. In  making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Tompkins stated, “This morning’s arrest of 19  offenders is part of my office’s ongoing effort to combat drug trafficking and gun violence throughout  our  district.   The  law  enforcement  partners  who  participated  in  this  anti-violence initiative  share a common goal:  to  fight  and reduce  violent drug crime by joining forces, so our citizens  can  reclaim  their  neighborhoods  from  drug  dealers  and  put  an  end  to  the  collateral violence that comes with drug and gun trafficking.” “ATF  will  continue  to  work  with  our  law  enforcement  partners  to  identify  those individuals that contribute to the number of crime guns used in violent crime in the Hickory area.  Violent  gun  crime  is  the  scourge  in  our  society  and  any  contribution  to  illegal  firearms trafficking cannot stand,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Wayne L. Dixie. “Our mandate is to do  everything  we  lawfully  can  to  allow  the  citizens  of  Hickory  to  live  in  a  safe  and  secure environment without the fear of having needless violent crime as a part of their  lives. We accept that mandate and today’s law enforcement action should send that message loud and clear.”  “I  am  very  proud  of  our  local  law-enforcement  and  agents  and  staff  of  the  ATF  who worked together to bring about this initiative.  This is a major commitment of resources from the ATF  for  a  city  the  size  Hickory.   These  defendants  will  be  prosecuted  by  both  the  U.S. Attorney’s  office  and  the  2th prosecutorial  district.   We  intend  to  follow  up  on  this  excellent collaborative effort with aggressive prosecution,” said James C. Gaither, Jr., District Attorney for the 25th Prosecutorial District, which encompasses Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties. “Hickory Police Department is committed to making our community safe,” said Chief of Police  Tom  Adkins.  “HPD  along  with  other  area  jurisdictions  are  members  of  the  Catawba County  Safe  Communities  Initiative,  which  directs  law  enforcement  resources  to  reducing  the violence  and drugs in our communities. This focused investigation with ATF and our officers will have a lasting impact on reducing violence and taking drugs off the  streets of Hickory and other communities in Catawba County.”

The  round-up  was  conducted  by  the  ATF,  U.S.  Marshals  Service,  Hickory  Police Department,  Newton  Police  Department,  Catawba  County  Sheriff’s  Office,  Conover  Police Department,  and  Longview  Police  Department.   Those  arrested  include  drug  traffickers, members  and  associates  of  drug  trafficking  organizations,  convicted  felons,  as  well  as  several local gang members.  The federal suspects arrested during the round-up were:

  • Kadeem Jamal Albright, 21, address unknown.
  • Marquice Tyrone Streeter, 25, of Hickory.
  • Kianta Martese Davis, 21, of Conover, N.C.
  • Keon Maurquie Gaither, 25, address unknown.
  • Chaetez Sean Clayton, 23, of Hickory.
  • Tyree Dorian Rhinehardt, 21, of Hickory.
  • Isreal Lerock Linebarger, 22, of Conover.
  • Larry Jermaine Linebarger, 26, address unknown.
  • Larry Elwood Steptoe, 33, address unknown.
  • Jeffrey Lashaw Maddox 27, address unknown.
  • Anthony Roger Mull, 28, of Hickory.
  • Kenneth Demond Norman, 35, of Hickory.
  • Eric Jay Ramirez, 33, of Hickory.
  • Cortez Lamar Rogers, 31, address unknown.
  • Dorrian Debrell Shuford, 20, of Newton, N.C.
  • Traquon Rashaad Davis, 20, of Conover.
  • Brandon Jaqwan Sifford, 22, of Hickory.
  • Anthony Lamar Mason, 24, of Hickory.
  • Donnell Lavon Thomas, 39, of Hickory.

Nine  additional  defendants  currently  in  state  custody  on  state  violations  have  been charged with federal offenses  in connection with this investigation, bringing the total number of those charged federally to 28.  They are:

  • Damion Jordan Armstrong, 22, address unknown.
  • Xavier Ahmad Cade, 22, of Hickory.
  • Brandon Colbert, 26, of Hickory.
  • Kerston Deshawn Edwards, 24, of Lincolnton, N.C.
  • William Shalon Linebarger, 27, address unknown.
  • Kenteze Rayvon Martin, 23, of Shelby, N.C.
  • Christopher Durand Myers, 34, address unknown.
  • Donald Lavar Ramseur, 24, of Hickory.
  • Paris Michael Thompson, 24, address unknown.

Another nine defendants arrested this morning face state criminal charges. The  federal  defendants  arrested  today  are  currently  in  federal  custody.   Their  initial appearances were held in U.S. District Court before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler. The  charges contained in  the indictments  are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The  investigation  is  being  conducted  by  the  ATF  and  Hickory  PD.   U.S.  Attorney Tompkins  thanked  all  the  law  enforcement  agencies  involved  in  today’s  round-up  for  their assistance in making today’s arrests. Assistant  U.S.  Attorney  Jennifer  Dillon  of  the  U.S.  Attorney’s  Office  in  Charlotte  is leading the prosecution.

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