North Carolina man facing minimum of 20 years in prison following conviction on kidnapping, drug and firearm charges

Published 7:08 am Monday, September 26, 2022

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United States Attorney Michael Easley announced that late Friday, September 2, 2022, Yomere Juan Busbee, 38, of Fayetteville, was convicted in federal court following a three-day trial before Chief United States District Judge Richard E. Myers II.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina, the jury found Busbee guilty on all five counts: conspiracy to commit kidnapping; kidnapping, including of a minor; conspiracy to distribute or possess with the intent to distribute heroin and cocaine base (crack); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense; and felon in possession of a firearm. Busbee faces a sentence of no less than 20 years and up to life in prison at sentencing.

“This case is about the victims, including a toddler, who suffered at the hands of a violent pimp and drug dealer,” said Easley. “My office will continue to investigate and prosecute those who are perpetrating violence in our communities.

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According to evidence presented at trial, in December 2018, Busbee and two co-defendants – James Calvin McEachern Jr. and Merianda Gray – held three adults and a two-year-old child in a hotel room against their will for several hours after Busbee, “a violent pimp and drug dealer, believed he was missing several hundred dollars and accused the victims of stealing it,” stated the release.

“During the incident Busbee, McEachern, a fellow drug dealer, and Gray threatened the victims and did not allow them to leave. Several of the victims were physically and sexually assaulted and tased,” the release continued. “Eventually, one of the victims was able to get a message to a family member who called authorities. Busbee fled when he learned authorities were on the way, and three of the victims were able to escape. Officers with Fayetteville Police Department were able to retrieve the final victim from the room without incident.”

Fayetteville Police Department detectives investigated the kidnapping and apprehended Busbee at a different Fayetteville hotel on January 17, 2019. According to the release, a search of Busbee’s vehicle and the hotel room recovered large quantities of heroin, cocaine and cocaine base (crack), as well as two firearms, one of which was stolen.

Gray previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fayetteville Police Department. Former Assistant United States Attorney Erin Blondel and Assistant United States Attorney Bryan Stephany handled the prosecution of the case for the government.