FBI agents and U.S. deputy marshals battered down the door of a townhouse Tuesday morning to make one of several arrests of people accused of dealing cocaine and marijuana and laundering drug money.
A student waiting for a school bus along Dove Cottage Lane said law enforcement officers, wearing tactical camouflage clothing and accompanied by an armored vehicle, used a battering ram to open the door of the townhouse at 224 Dove Cottage, where they arrested Sidney Darnell Ledbetter, 25. The unit is owned by an Apex resident.
Returned arrest warrants show that FBI agents and marshals also picked up Keijuane Mantese Mack at an apartment at 1335 Dominion Oak Circle in Cary, Brian Jarrell Scott, 30, at an apartment at 3805 Chimney Ridge Place in Durham, Rashad Jillel Jackson, 24, at an unspecified address in Durham, and Nirilla Lacho Allen-Kearney, 48, at 109 Research Drive on the Duke University campus in Durham.
Several documents in the case are sealed by a court order, but ones that are available indicate that the other three people named in the indictment are already in custody.
Maurio Tajara Mitchell, 33, was arrested April 12, records show. Mark Anthony Daye, 46, was arrested by federal authorities in California on April 14 and has since been brought to North Carolina. Complaints against both men accused them of being involved in cocaine activity in Wilson County before their arrests in the new case.
It appears that Demarcus Allen Medley was arrested in California and freed with a GPS anklet to track him, and he appears to have been given the same status here.
The indictment says all eight were involved in dealing cocaine and marijuana.
It names Mitchell, Daye and Medley as having had at least 5 kilograms of cocaine.
The indictment said the drug operation began in 2015 or earlier. It charged that money from drug sales was deposited under other people’s names in Bank of America accounts and was used to pay for houses, apartments and cell phones in order to hide it from authorities.
The grand jury also said that Mitchell and Scott had guns “in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.”
The government said it planned to seize three handguns, two shotguns, a Ford pickup truck and a diamond watch that it said were connected with drug dealing. The watch was said to be at an apartment on Erwin Road in Durham.
The ages of all except Medley were determined from records at the county jails where federal agents housed them after their arrests. Medley was not listed in any area jail. Some had been transferred elsewhere by Friday, and records did not show where.
Daye and Mack were listed earlier as Wake County Detention Center inmates. Friday, only Mack was listed.
Mitchell, Allen-Kearney, Scott and Ledbetter were listed as prisoners in the Franklin County Detention Center in Louisburg.
The people charged were taken before a judge Tuesday afternoon, the records show, and they were expected to have federal court hearings in Raleigh on Tuesday.
The day the grand jury handed up its indictment on the drug charges, Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie K. Cooley filed a notice in U.S. District Court in Raleigh saying that the case should be heard by the same judge assigned to a case begun this year against James Stephen Thorpe and three other men. They were accused of a 2015 armed robbery related to proceeds from the Vegas Nightlife night club at 4030 Capital Blvd.
Documents do not explain the connection. The people named along with Thorpe in a March 16 indictment – Joshua Rayshawn Melvin, Ervin Montez Alston Jr. and Jahid Preston Diggs – do not appear in the indictment that led to Tuesday’s arrests.
Cooley wrote, however, “This indictment (May 10) and the (Thorpe case) arise out of a series of related events, and has individuals in common with the Thorpe case.”