Final member of North Carolina heroin trafficking organization sentenced to 57 months in prison

Published 7:23 am Saturday, August 21, 2021

A Princeville man was sentenced the last week in July to 57 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and a quantity of marijuana, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court documents, Mario Marelle Scott, 44, was named in a third superseding indictment filed on October 11, 2018. On November 13, 2019, Scott entered a guilty plea.

In March 2016, members of the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force (TRRDTF), led by the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, learned that a drug trafficking organization was bringing large amounts of heroin from New Jersey to Nash, Edgecombe and Halifax counties, then sell the heroin in those counties, stated the release.

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On March 13, 2017, agents conducted a traffic stop of Herbert Lamont Cherry and Tony Ray Reams as they returned from Paterson, New Jersey. A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of 470 grams of heroin, which were packaged in 34,722 “bindles” or dosage units, according to the release.

On August 16, 2017, agents conducted a traffic stop of Tara Finis Simmons and Charles Lee Wright as they returned from Paterson, New Jersey. The release stated the vehicle was searched and found to contain 110 grams of heroin and 13 grams of marijuana.

“Agents then interviewed a series of witnesses, who indicated that the drug trafficking organization was led by Terrence Cornelius Clyburn, a/k/a ‘Tee,’” stated the release. “Clyburn would arrange for the transportation of large amounts of heroin to North Carolina via couriers. Those couriers included Tony Reams, Herbert Cherry, Tara Simmons, and Charles Wright.”

Other members of the organization would distribute the drugs in North Carolina, including Patrick Holiday, Tyshawn Reams and Mario Scott, according to the release.

“From 2015 to 2017, Mario Scott and Patrick Holiday distributed approximately 100 grams of heroin each month in North Carolina for the organization,” stated the release. “In total, Mario Scott was responsible for trafficking almost 10 kilograms of heroin.”

Results of the other cases in this investigation include:

– Terrence Clyburn, Case No. 4:17-CR-0046-3: 147 months of imprisonment.

– Patrick Direece Holiday, Case No. 4:17-CR-0046-5: 96 months of imprisonment.

– Tyshawn Rayvon Reams, Case No. 4:17-CR-0046-4: 88 months of imprisonment.

– Charles Lee Wright, Case No. 4:17-CR-0046-1: 60 months of imprisonment.

– Tara Finis Simmons, Case No. 4:17-CR-0046-2: 28 months of imprisonment.

– Herbert Lamont Cherry, Case No. 4:17-CR-0025-FL-1: 47 months of imprisonment.

– Tony Ray Reams, Case No. 4:17-CR-0025-FL-2: 71 months of imprisonment.

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 Louise W. Flanagan. The Nash County Sheriff’s Office, Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, Wake County Sheriff’s Office, Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Spring Hope Police Department and the Tarboro Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott A. Lemmon prosecuted.

“This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Office’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative,” stated the release. “This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement. For additional information about this initiative, click here https://www.justice.gov/usao-ednc/tbnc.”

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