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Two North Carolina men sentenced in federal court for drug trafficking

Two defendants were recently sentenced in federal court for drug trafficking in the area of Robeson County, according to a June 22 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

On June 9, 2021, Joel Armando Rodriguez, 48, of Maxton, was sentenced to 150 months in prison for trafficking cocaine and crystal methamphetamine. Rodriguez pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine on November 12, 2020.

According to court documents and other information presented to the court, Rodriguez regularly trafficked drugs from Texas to North Carolina.

“On October 7, 2019, members of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop of Rodriguez, and he was found in possession of approximately one kilogram of cocaine,” stated the release. “The investigation also determined that Rodriguez had distributed a significant amount of crystal methamphetamine in Robeson County.”

Tushombi Take Wallace, 45, of Lumberton, was sentenced June 22 to 96 months in prison and five years of supervised release for trafficking cocaine, cocaine base (crack), heroin and crystal methamphetamine.

Wallace pleaded guilty on December 16, 2020 to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, 280 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and 500 grams or more of cocaine (Count One); and distribution of 100 grams or more of heroin and five grams or more of methamphetamine (Count Four).

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Wallace sold cocaine, cocaine base, heroin and crystal methamphetamine to a confidential informant on several dates from December 19, 2017 until January 29, 2020.

“This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation,” stated the release. “OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.”

G. Norman Acker III, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Fayetteville Police Department and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Lemmon prosecuted.

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