A Halifax County Sheriff’s Office stop for speeding was part of an investigation which on Tuesday led to a federal indictment charging three Rocky Mount residents and a Wendell woman with various narcotics and fraud-related counts, according to a criminal complaint on the matter.
One of the people charged is 33-year-old Tyrone “Ty Nitty” Foreman, who is the reputed leader of a United Blood Nation set operating a heroin and fentanyl distribution ring in Nash and Edgecombe counties.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina said in a statement Wednesday over the past three years, local, state, and federal authorities conducted an extensive investigation into Foreman’s organization, including the importation and distribution of various narcotics and several gang-related shootings in Rocky Mount.
The criminal complaint is based on events which began in October of last year when a confidential informant revealed that Foreman’s source of supply was a man from New York.
In the criminal complaint Foreman is identified as the reputed head of the United Blood Nation Nine-Trey set although recent intelligence suggests he moved his set to G-Shine.
In October the informant revealed to the Nash County Sheriff’s Office that the New York man used a cell phone to communicate with Foreman and other members of the drug trafficking organization to arrange purchases of usually 300 to 400 bricks per trip of a heroin-fentanyl mixture.
Investigators analyzed the New York man’s phone records and confirmed that he was in frequent contact with Foreman and other members of the trafficking organization.
Investigators determined the man met with Foreman at a motel in Rocky Mount and Foreman was with him.
The New York man later admitted to that meeting, the complaint says.
On November 7 the New York man and his driver arrived in Rocky Mount from Brooklyn. The men went to the home of one of Foreman’s girlfriends for a short time and left to go back to New York.
The man admitted to meeting Foreman and supplying him with heroin.
On November 21 Nash County investigators observed the New York man and his driver check into a Rocky Mount motel and the next day meet with Foreman and exchange two bags.
It was during their return trip to New York that the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office stopped them for speeding.
A canine conducted an open-air sniff around the vehicle and the dog noted the presence of narcotics.
The search of the car resulted in the seizure of 47 bricks of heroin and approximately 1 pound of marijuana.
Authorities located the narcotics inside a Vittles Vault airtight pet food container located in the backseat of the vehicle. Authorities also seized a firearm from the vehicle that belonged to the New York man. The cell phones of the New York man and his driver were seized.
Also seized was a hand-written ledger which indicated multiple individuals owed the man money. One of the people in the ledger was identified as Nitty Boy, which the New York man later admitted was his nickname for Foreman.
Investigators suspect that the 47 bricks were being returned due to an issue with the supply.
During a recorded jail phone call the New York man spoke with an unknown man about the trip and admitted law enforcement caught him with 47 bricks. He also told the man he was on his way back to New York when he was caught. “(The New York man) followed up, ‘You know I travel much heavier on the way down,’ or words to that effect,” the complaint said.
The man claimed during the phone call that Foreman set him up.
Chief Deputy Scott Hall of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday said of the case, “Any time you can have neighboring agencies work to come together for one common goal of ridding our communities of dangerous drugs it is a win-win — not only for the law enforcement agencies but our communities.”
In its press release, the attorney’s office said investigators tracked Foreman travelling to New York City to pick up another heroin and fentanyl mixture supply.
On December 11, 2020, during Foreman’s return trip to Rocky Mount, Maryland authorities stopped him for failure to wear a seat belt. Inside the car, authorities found over 3,500 bags of a heroin and fentanyl mixture.
The indictment charging Foreman and Vernisha Marie Suggs, 34, of Rocky Mount, with narcotics-related violations also alleges Foreman and two others conspired to commit wire and mail fraud related to federal unemployment benefits created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the indictment, Foreman, Undia Fenne Sharpe, 39, of Rocky Mount, and Minnie Marie Edwards, 36, of Wendell, fraudulently filed claims using the information of individuals incarcerated in federal and state prisons.
After filing the fraudulent claims, the co-conspirators distributed the unemployment benefits amongst themselves and other co-conspirators.
Foreman is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 1,000 grams or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and a quantity of marijuana; one count of possessing with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl; one count of possessing with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana; and one count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. If convicted, Foreman faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.
Suggs is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and one count of possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin. If convicted, Suggs faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Sharpe is charged with one count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. If convicted, Sharpe faces a maximum of twenty years in prison.
Edwards is charged with one count of possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of crack and one count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. If convicted, Edwards faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Acting United States Attorney G. Norman Acker III said, “The United States Justice Department and the United States Attorney’s Office are aggressively pursuing violent drug traffickers and this case targeted an organization who evaded justice and spread deadly narcotics in the community for years. This indictment represents another step in a coordinated effort to take back North Carolina from those who wish to bring harm to the citizens of the Eastern District of North Carolina.”
Said Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone: “The level of law enforcement cooperation to investigate the crimes committed by this violent organization was incredible. This case is yet another example of law enforcement partners working together to effectively dismantle criminal organizations which threaten the citizens of Nash and Edgecombe Counties.”