Face Mob Family Indictment
NOV 07 -- (RALEIGH, NC) - At a press conference held today, United States Attorney George E.B. Holding, Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Atlanta Field Division, Nathan Gray, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Chief Harry Dolan of the Raleigh Police Department, and Jose L. Lopez, Chief of the Durham Police Department, announce the indictment and arrest of seven defendants on federal drug conspiracy charges for their involvement in the distribution of heroin and cocaine in the Raleigh/Durham metropolitan area. This organization known as the “Face Mob Family,” was targeted because of their involvement in major narcotics trafficking in the Raleigh/Durham metropolitan areas.
In the early morning hours of September 29, 2008, members of the DEA Raleigh NC-Triangle High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), the Raleigh Police Department, the Durham Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Bureau of Investigation, and other local law enforcement agencies, conducted enforcement operations across the Triangle area. This action took place after a federal grand jury indicted GILBERT ERNESTO SHERWOOD, 33, of Durham, North Carolina; DONALD STANTON SHEALEY, 30, of Raleigh, North Carolina; JAMAL MONTA WATSON, 30, of Greensboro, North Carolina; SALAHUDEEN ABDUL ABDALLAH, 23, and “KHALID” USAMA ABDALLAH, 29, both of Durham, North Carolina; TYRONE RICARDO LAWRENCE, 32, of Raleigh, North Carolina; TIMOTHY LAMONT HARGROVE, 30, of Raleigh, North Carolina; and a defendant whose identity remains under court seal, on conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin, more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack), in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846, in Count One of a six-count indictment. SHEALEY was also indicted for distributing a quantity of heroin and aiding and abetting the same, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2, in Counts Two through Six. KHALID was also indicted for drug distribution and aiding and abetting the same, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2, in Count Two of the Indictment. WATSON was also charged in Count Six of the Indictment with distributing a quantity of heroin and aiding and abetting the same, in violation of Title 21 United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2. These enforcement operations resulted in the arrest of seven defendants, along with the seizures of $85,333.00 in US currency, six high-end vehicles, including two classic cars, seven ounces of heroin, and eight weapons. Agents and officers executed search warrants and conducted other multiple residence searches during the operation. The six-month investigation of the Face Mob Family also resulted in the arrests of three individuals on state drug charges. The overall investigation led to the seizure of over two pounds of heroin, 17 firearms, approximately $150,000.00 in U.S. currency, and six high-end vehicles (two classic cars included previously mentioned). During detention hearings held in the matter, it was revealed that federal agents utilized a court authorized wiretap during the investigation.
Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated, “This indictment today shows that through the combined efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement authorities, we were able to deliver a devastating blow against this violent drug distribution network. The Triangle area is much safer now since these criminal elements have been removed.”
United States Attorney George E.B. Holding stated, “This investigation targeted one of the most violent drug trafficking organizations in North Carolina. This effort would not have been possible without the coordinated efforts of the federal, state and local levels.”
Special Agent in Charge Nathan Gray, FBI, for North Carolina, stated, “We have now dismantled the leadership in an extremely violent gang, that used a popular form of music to glorify its criminal activity. Hopefully, people in the Triangle will feel a little safer in their own homes.” Mr. Gray went on to say, “This was such an intense investigation, it would not have happened without the US Attorney’s Office and all the law enforcement agencies involved; from the local police departments to the federal level. I want to thank everyone for their dedication and effort in this case.”
“This investigation succeeded as a result of work by many law enforcement officers representing federal, state and local agencies. The personnel and the agencies involved worked as a cohesive team and with great dedication to bring about the results announced today, and the Raleigh Police Department stands ready to repeat this success through future collaborative efforts,” stated Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan.
"Crime today is a very regional activity and is not isolated to a certain jurisdiction. The criminal element needs to understand that law enforcement is organized and we work in collaboration with each other," said Durham Police Chief Jose L. Lopez Sr. "I am very proud to be part of this law enforcement collaboration. I commend our partners in this operation and I look forward to working with them in the future."
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court. DEA and the FBI, along with the Raleigh Police Department, Durham Police Department, and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, provided significant man-power to support this intense six-month investigation.
Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com and www.dea.gov