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A 36-year-old Scotland Neck man is the latest to sentenced in what has been described by the federal as a multi-kilogram heroin trafficking ring.

United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Robert J. Higdon Jr. said in a press release Tyshawm Rayvon Reams was sentenced today in New Bern to 88 months in prison and five years of supervised at the completion of his punishment.

United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced Reams. 

On October 16, 2018, Reams pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and a quantity of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and aiding and abetting.

In March of 2016, an investigation was initiated by the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force, led by the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, into a drug trafficking organization headed by Terrence Clyburn, which was operating out of Scotland Neck, Tarboro, and Nash County.

Law enforcement received information that members of the DTO had made several trips to Paterson, New Jersey, to acquire large quantities of heroin for distribution in Nash, Edgecombe, and Halifax counties.

On March 13, 2017, as DTO members Herbert Cherry and Tony Reams returned from a trip to Paterson, an officer observed a vehicle driven by Cherry speeding and weaving between traffic lanes in Halifax County.  

A canine was utilized to conduct an exterior narcotics sniff of the vehicle, which resulted in an alert on the vehicle’s trunk.  

A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of 694 bricks of heroin — approximately 470 grams of heroin — which were packaged in 34,722 bindles and hidden in a false bottom of a suitcase and a laundry bag located in the trunk.

On August 16, 2017, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol conducted a traffic stop of another vehicle operated by the DTO, which was occupied by Tara Simmons and Charles Lee Wright.  

The vehicle was stopped for a speeding violation in Halifax County.  

Investigators detected the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle and determined that Simmons was the driver of the vehicle.  

A canine, utilized to scan the vehicle, alerted to the rear of the vehicle.  Located near the spare tire in the rear of the vehicle, investigators recovered 13 grams of marijuana and approximately 102 bricks of heroin.  Each brick contained 50 bindles or dosage units of heroin.  

The drugs seized totaled 110 grams of heroin. 

The investigation revealed that from approximately 2012 to 2017, the DTO trafficked approximately 14.4 kilograms of heroin. 

The investigation revealed that Tyshawn Reams regularly directed the activities of the organization’s couriers and would receive heroin in North Carolina from them.  

reams would then sell the heroin to customers in North Carolina on behalf of the drug trafficking organization.

All defendants charged in this investigation have now been convicted. They are:

Terrence Corneilus Clyburn (sentenced to 147 months imprisonment)

Tony Ray Reams (sentenced to 47 months imprisonment)

Herbert Lamont Cherry (sentenced to 71 months imprisonment)

Charles Lee Wright (sentenced to 60 months imprisonment)

Tara Finis Simmons (sentenced to 28 months imprisonment)

Patrick Direece Holiday (sentenced to 96 months imprisonment)

Mario Marelle Scott (pled guilty on November 13 and is awaiting sentencing)

This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Office’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative.  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.  

The Nash County Sheriff’s Office, Edgecombe Sheriff’s Office, the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, the Spring Hope Police Department, and the Tarboro Police Department investigated this case.  

Assistant United States Attorney Scott A. Lemmon prosecuted this case for the government.