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A protective order was approved last month in a case which tied a Halifax County Sheriff’s Office traffic stop to a reputed Rocky Mount gang leader.

The protective order concerning discovery in the case of Tyrone “Ty Nitty” Foreman was approved by United States District Judge James C. Dever III last month and was based on threats against witnesses and law enforcement, court records show.

The two men awaiting arraignment and sentencing in the case were the ones stopped by the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office last year and were charged federally in July.

The attorney representing Foreman today filed a motion seeking a continuance to his client’s arraignment based on technical issues related to the receipt of discovery materials and because the government has not yet provided a plea offer. 

The motion submitted today, which has not yet been granted by Dever, seeks to move proceedings for Foreman to the December term of court.

The government said in the motion it was requesting the protective order to restrict the duplication and distribution of discovery materials in Foreman’s case.

Foreman has waived his detention hearing after the government’s witness testified to evidence in the case, according to the motion filed by Assistant United States Attorney John Koester.

The testimony included “information that the defendant recently threatened a related defendant while in custody in this district.”

In that process a federal magistrate judge found no condition or combination of conditions that warrant pretrial release for Foreman.

“The government has gathered evidence from cooperating defendants and confidential sources of information, to which revealing the identity of those individuals could put their safety at significant risk,” the motion said. “The defendant’s actions since his time in custody further emphasize the need to protect those who may provide statements against the defendant. Additionally, as a part of the investigation, the government learned of attempts by the defendant and members of the defendant’s conspiracy to intimidate witnesses, conspire to kill law enforcement officials, and threaten prosecutors.”

The government has redacted the discovery to the best of its ability, however, due to the specific nature of the information included, the identity of those involved would likely be determined, the motion says. “In recent cases, defendants have circulated these documents in an attempt to threaten, intimidate, or cause harm to those who are referenced. The government has an interest in protecting the sources of information in this investigation.” 

Foreman’s attorney had no objection to the motion.

Foreman is the reputed leader of a United Blood Nation set operating a heroin and fentanyl distribution ring in Nash and Edgecombe counties.

A Halifax County Sheriff’s Office stop for speeding was part of that investigation which led to a federal indictment charging Foreman, two other Rocky Mount residents and a Wendell woman with various narcotics and fraud-related counts, according to a criminal complaint on the matter.

Yacine Rahmani and Bryan Walter Riccaldo were stopped last year by the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office on a return trip to New York after reportedly supplying Foreman with heroin in Rocky Mount, according to a criminal complaint filed in Foreman’s case.

Rahmani is scheduled for sentencing in November after pleading guilty to two counts charged against him while Bryan Walter Riccaldo has an arraignment set the same month.

The investigation which ties Riccaldo and Rahmani to Foreman was conducted over the past three years and links Foreman to importing and distributing various narcotics and several gang related shootings in Rocky Mount.

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.