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Four from North Carolina indicted for various drug, fraud charges

A federal grand jury returned an indictment July 13 charging three Rocky Mount individuals and one Wendell woman with various narcotics distribution and fraud-related charges, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

Tyrone Foreman, also known as “Ty Nitty,” 33, is alleged to be the leader of a set of the United Blood Nation operating a heroin and fentanyl distribution ring in Nash and Edgecombe counties. Over the past three years, local, state and federal authorities conducted an extensive investigation into Foreman’s organization, including the importation and distribution of various narcotics and several gang-related shootings in Rocky Mount, stated the release.

According to the complaint, filed in June of 2021, investigators identified a New York City man supplying Foreman with heroin and fentanyl mixtures for distribution in Rocky Mount. “After Investigators discovered this individual bringing large quantities of heroin and fentanyl mixtures to Foreman, Investigators tracked Foreman travelling to New York City to pick up another heroin and fentanyl mixture supply,” stated the release. “On December 11, 2020, during Foreman’s return trip to Rocky Mount, Maryland authorities stopped Foreman’s car for failure to wear a seat belt. Inside the car, authorities found over 3,500 bags of a heroin and fentanyl mixture.”

The indictment charging Foreman and Vernisha Marie Suggs, 34, of Rocky Mount, with narcotics-related violations also alleges Foreman and two others conspired to commit wire and mail fraud related to federal unemployment benefits created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the indictment, Foreman, Undia Fenne Sharpe, 39, of Rocky Mount, and Minnie Marie Edwards, 36, of Wendell, fraudulently filed claims using the information of individuals incarcerated in federal and state prisons. After filing the fraudulent claims, the co-conspirators distributed the unemployment benefits amongst themselves and other co-conspirators.

Foreman is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 1,000 grams or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl and a quantity of marijuana; one count of possessing with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl; one count  of possessing with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana; and one count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. “If convicted, Foreman faces a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison and a maximum of life in prison,” stated the release.

Suggs is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and one count of possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin. “If convicted, Suggs faces a maximum of forty years in prison,” stated the release.

Sharpe is charged with one count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. “If convicted, Sharpe faces a maximum of twenty years in prison,” stated the release.

Edwards is charged with one count of possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base (crack) and one count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. “If convicted, Edwards faces a maximum of forty years in prison,” stated the release.

This investigation and indictment are the result of a coordinated effort on the part of a coalition of local, state and federal agencies over the span of three years. These agencies include Nash County Sheriff’s Office, Rocky Mount Police Department, Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office, Nashville Police Department, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the North Carolina Department of Commerce – Division of Employment Security and the Office of the 8th Prosecutorial District of North Carolina.

G. Norman Acker III, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement and commented: “The United States Justice Department and the United States Attorney’s Office are aggressively pursuing violent drug traffickers and this case targeted an organization who evaded justice and spread deadly narcotics in the community for years. This indictment represents another step in a coordinated effort to ‘Take Back North Carolina’ from those who wish to bring harm to the citizens of the Eastern District of North Carolina.”

“The level of law enforcement cooperation to investigate the crimes committed by this violent organization was incredible. This case is yet another example of law enforcement partners working together to effectively dismantle criminal organizations which threaten the citizens of Nash and Edgecombe Counties,” said Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone.

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