GREENSBORO — Three defendants were convicted in federal court this week of conspiracy to commit drug trafficking offenses following a major multi-state organized crime operation, announced US Attorney Sandra J. Hairston of North Carolina’s Middle District.
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 imprisonment, respectively, by the Lord William L. Osteen, Jr. , U.S. District Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on November 21, 2022. In addition to prison, JONES was sentenced to five years under supervision and to pay a $4,000 fine, and BLACKMON was sentenced to three years of supervised release and a $3,000 fine. You were charged with five co-defendants in Case Number 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 offense. In addition to the prison sentence, WAGONER was sentenced to five years of supervised release. BLACKMON, JONES, WAGONER and their 4 other co-defendants have been separately charged with the same offenses along with 14 other individuals, the others being charged in Case Number 1:22CR25. These defendants were also charged on February 22, 2022 as part of a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine and heroin, a 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 in this case have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 41 to 300 months, with further convictions planned for February 2023.
According to court filings, as of 2020, several local and state law enforcement agencies began investigations into a multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking organization that coordinated shipments of methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl and heroin into North Carolina’s Middle District. Based in Mexico, the poly-drug trafficking organization operated in multiple jurisdictions within the United States, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and California. Members of this organization had previously been convicted of drug trafficking by multiple jurisdictions in different states in North Carolina’s Middle District.
“I am grateful for the work of our law enforcement partners in taking down a drug trafficking organization that has impacted so many communities in North Carolina and our neighboring states,” said US Attorney Sandra J. Hairston. “The impact of the illicit drug trade reaches every corner of our community, and prosecuting these organizations remains a top priority at the Department of Justice.”
The investigation was conducted jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration with support from Homeland Security Investigations, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and sheriffs’ offices and police departments throughout North Carolina. The case was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Jake Pryor.
These charges were brought under the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCDETF) program, the centerpiece of the Justice Department’s drug supply reduction strategy. OCDETF was formed in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-stage attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in collaboration with state and local law enforcement agencies. The main task of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those responsible for drug supply in the country.