Two North Carolina men sentenced to prison for drug distribution

Published 8:02 am Monday, February 6, 2023

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Two Rocky Mount men were sentenced Friday, February 3, 2023 in connection to their role in a violent drug trafficking organization with ties to the United Blood Nation gang, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.

‘The investigation revealed that Tyrone Foreman a/k/a Tye Nitty, who is awaiting sentencing, obtained kilograms of heroin and fentanyl from various sources of supply, and that Benjamine Moss, Jr. and Dentrez Randell Thomas were the primary distributors of these drugs within Nash and Edgecombe County,” stated the release.

Moss, 31, was sentenced to 246 months in prison after having pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin, fentanyl and marijuana and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

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Thomas, 28, was sentenced to 151 months in prison after having pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin, fentanyl and marijuana.

“These individuals peddled poison to the communities in and around Rocky Mount,” stated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley Jr. “The law-abiding citizens in these communities are much safer now that this source of illegal drugs has been removed from the streets.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Moss and Thomas were identified during a multi-year investigation into a Rocky Mount-based Blood gang set led by Tyrone Foreman. “Through a series of controlled purchases, traffic stops, law enforcement surveillance, and interviews of witnesses, investigators also learned that Moss and Thomas routinely carried firearms while they sold heroin and fentanyl and were tasked with threatening lower-level drug distributors at gunpoint to ensure that the organization’s drug sales continued,” stated the release

The investigation culminated in a December 2020 traffic stop of Thomas and Foreman on I-95 in Maryland as they returned from meeting with a New York-based drug supplier. More than 3,500 dosage units of heroin/fentanyl mixture were seized during that stop.

“Stopping the flow of drugs into our communities plays a significant role in helping to decrease violent crime overall,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Bennie Mims. “These particular gang members have been responsible for a large number of violent crimes in the area. To have them in custody and off our streets is a huge win for public safety.”

“Our goal is to reduce crime in our city by strategically targeting those involved in violent crime. It is our vision to make Rocky Mount one of the safest cities in North Carolina. These convictions are the result of long investigative work that could not have succeeded without the collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement,” said Rocky Mount Police Chief Robert Hassell.

“I would like to express my appreciation to the law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office who were involved in this case,” said Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone. “The long hours and hard work by each agency have tremendously impacted the violence and drug trafficking surrounding our communities. Through our local, state, and federal partnerships, we continue our fight to take problems like this away from our citizens.”

Edgecombe County Sheriff Cleveland Atkinson stated, “This was definitely a collaboration between all agencies. When we work together as one, there is almost nothing that we can’t achieve.”

Easley made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive, Rocky Mount Police Department, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office and the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Caroline Webb prosecuted.