13 law enforcement officers indicted in FBI drug sting

In May 2015, federal officials reported that thirteen law enforcement officers from North Carolina and Virginia had been arrested and indicted for protecting illegal narcotics shipments along the east coast.

The arrests were part of the FBI’s two-year “Operation Rockfish” investigation.

The thirteen former and then-current law enforcement officers were allegedly prepared to transport substantial quantities of cocaine and heroin as part of a large-scale drug smuggling ring. Two civilians were also arrested for their alleged involvement in the operation. All fifteen were charged with conspiring to distribute controlled substances and conspiring to use and carry firearms during the commission of the drug trafficking offenses.

Other charges against some of the defendants included attempted extortion, attempted possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, money laundering, federal programs bribery, and use and carry of firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses.

The arrests were made at two separate locations. One group of defendants was arrested at the Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport. From that location, they allegedly believed that they would be transporting multiple kilograms of illegal narcotics to a warehouse in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. A second group of defendants was arrested at the warehouse in Rocky Mount.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell released a statement that vowed to root out law-enforcement misconduct: “Corruption in local government—especially involving law enforcement—threatens the social compact that binds our communities together.” U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina and Special Agent in Charge John Strong of the FBI’s Charlotte division joined Caldwell to announce the indictments and arrests. “Public corruption at any level is the number one criminal priority of the FBI and we will work aggressively to protect the public trust,” said Special Agent in Charge Strong.

Here are the individuals who were indicted in the Eastern District of North Carolina and arrested April 30, 2015 in the FBI’s operation:

  • Lann Tjuan Clanton, 36, a correctional officer with the Virginia Department of Corrections;
  • Ikeisha Jacobs, 32, a deputy with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office;
  • Jason Boone, 29, a deputy with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office;
  • Wardie Vincent Jr., 35, formerly of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office;
  • Adrienne Moody, 39, a correctional officer with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety;
  • Cory Jackson, 43, formerly of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office;
  • Jimmy Pair Jr., 48, a deputy with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office;
  • Curtis Boone, 31, a deputy with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office;
  • Antonio Tillmon, 31, a police officer with the Windsor City Police Department;
  • Alaina Kamling, 27, a correctional officer with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety;
  • Kavon Phillips, 25, a correctional officer with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety;
  • Crystal Pierce, 31, of Raleigh, North Carolina;
  • Alphonso Ponton, 42, a correctional officer with the Virginia Department of Corrections;
  • Thomas Jefferson Allen II, 37, a deputy with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office; and
  • Tosha Dailey, 31, a 911 dispatch operator for Northampton County.

The local sheriff told ABC11 that he planned to cooperate with the investigation: “Our people are not above the law and should be brought to justice just as any citizen would. I am glad to see them brought to justice.”

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