Eight get federal prison in crack cocaine operation

  • Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 1:15 p.m.

GREENSBORO — Eight people authorities say sold crack cocaine in Rowan and Davie counties have been sentenced in federal court.

In a news release, U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand said that between June 2007 and November 2010, the group operated two “open air drug markets,” one known as “Wilson Town” in southwestern Davie and the other known as “The Country “ in western Rowan. Customers would be directed to one location or the other based on the availability of crack cocaine and police presence in the area.

Many of those charged had common suppliers for crack and used the same cooks to make it, the news release said. Others would gather outside a home in western Rowan used for storing and manufacturing the drugs, where some would sell to one another for resale, some would take the drugs for street-level sales and others provided transportation for the street-level dealers.

A joint investigation by the Rowan and Davie sheriff’s offices, the SBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives uncovered the drug ring.

“Our success in fighting this brazen drug trafficking organization is a direct result of our close partnerships with state and local law enforcement,” Rand said in the news release.  “The Davie and Rowan County sheriff’s offices and the SBI have been valuable partners with ATF and the United States Attorney’s Office in the effort to improve the safety and quality of life in these communities for all residents.”

Corey DeWayne Kerr, 38, of Cleveland, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to maintaining a drug-involved premises. Authorities say at when the Kerr was a member of the drug-distribution ring in western Rowan, he was already while serving a state court sentence on a felony drug charge.

Each of the others pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine.

• Tavis Labron Houpe, 37, of Cleveland, was sentenced to 61/2 years in prison and five years of probation;

• Derrick Lamont Wilson, 37, of Salisbury, was sentenced to more than 14 years in prison and 10 years of probation;

• Carlos Antwonne Redmond, 30, of Mocksville, was sentenced to 71/2 years in prison and five years of probation;

• Michael Anthony Keaton, 29, of Clemmons, was sentenced to 91/2 years in prison and five years of probation;

• Alphonso Lee Keaton, 40, of Cleveland, was sentenced to more than seven years in prison and five years of probation;

• Tracy Lavender Wilson, 41, of Salisbury, was sentenced to more than eight years in prison and four years of probation;

• Ricardo John Lipscomb, 30, of Spencer, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years of probation.

One of the people originally charged, Zenobia Ruben Jackson, died prior to sentencing, and the indictment against him was dismissed.

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