‘Operation Nor’easter’ takes down suspected drug traffickers

Published 7:31 am Saturday, August 4, 2018

Suspects from Dare and Currituck counties are among a dozen people indicted in a federal crackdown on opioid and heroin trafficking in eastern North Carolina.

United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced the arrests this week as part of an FBI initiative dubbed “Operation Nor’easter.”

The investigation, Higdon said in a news release, led to the indictment of 12 defendants for outstanding federal charges in a coordinated warrant sweep.

In addition, several suspects were already found to be in police custody in North Carolina. Federal detainers have been filed against them, Higdon said.

The operation was conducted as part of the US District Attorney’s Office “Take Back North Carolina Initiative,” which focuses federal resources on the “alarming level of opioid use and the deaths associated with it.”

“This initiative is bringing the full weight of the federal court system in the fight against crime in Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrell, and Gates Counties in partnership with district attorneys’ offices and federal, state, and local law enforcement,” Higdon said.

At a press conference, Higdon said some of those indicted are members of the “United Blood Nation” street gang and have been involved in violent crimes such as robbery.

The following individuals were indicted as part of the operation:

  • Ross Domina Spruill, 33, Dare county, possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base (crack).
  • Willie Person, 54, Grandy, possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base (crack).
  • Rasheen Jerome Arnold 24, of Edenton, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a stolen firearm.
  • Alvin Johnson, 41, Pasquotank County, possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base (crack).
  • Samuel Rawlins, 39, Elizabeth City, possession of firearm by felon.
  • Devon Lee, 36, Perquimans County, conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.
  • Glenn Mitchell, 49, Edenton, possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and heroin.
  • Clarence Chestnutt, 40, Hertford, possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.
  • John James Taylor, 37, Elizabeth City, possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and heroin; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm by felon.
  • Nathan Lamonte Silver, 44, Elizabeth City, Hobbs Act robbery.
  • Mykel Levant Davis, 37, Elizabeth City, possession of firearm by felon.
  • Marvin Johnson, 41, Elizabeth City, possession with the intent to distribute heroin.