Wednesday, December 8, 2021

114 West Elm Street
Graham, NC 27253
Ph: 336.228.7851

53 drug-trafficking, gang-violence arrests announced through joint investigation

Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies have announced the arrests of 53 people, most from Alamance County, as the result of a two-year joint investigation into drug trafficking and gang-related violence concentrated in Alamance County.  Ten more suspects are still at large and wanted in connection with the investigation.

The joint law enforcement was entitled “Operation Bottom to Top,” and a joint press conference conducted Friday outlined the scope of the investigation.

  

EVOLUTION OF THE INVESTIGATION: FOCUS ON BURLINGTON GANG LEADER

 According to a press release from the State Bureau of Investigation detailing the history of the investigation, in the spring of 2020, detectives with the Burlington Police Department (BPD) Gang and Violent Crimes Unit conducted multiple investigations into Burlington resident Tre McCandies and his associates.

- Advertisement -

Previously, according to the SBI, during an investigation of a gang-related murder, Burlington police investigators learned that McCandies is a “Five Star General” of the 9Trey Bloods, a violent “Blood gang of the United Blood Nation,” according to the SBI.

Throughout 2019 and 2020, gang-related violent crime rose dramatically in Burlington and throughout Alamance County, according to the SBI.

In addition to the violent crime, McCandies and his close gang associates were known to investigators as low- to mid-level cocaine and marijuana distributors.

Detectives in violent crime units in Burlington and Alamance County began sharing intelligence and working jointly to investigate McCandies and his associates, according to the SBI.  The Alamance County Narcotics Enforcement Team (ANET) partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to combat the drug-fueled gang violence that was increasing in Alamance County.

ANET is a multi-agency team comprised of investigators from the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office and municipal police departments in Burlington, Graham, Mebane, Elon, Haw River, and Gibsonville.

Due to McCandies’ leadership role in gang-related violence and drug trafficking activity, investigators at the DEA, SBI, and ANET, working with Burlington police, Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, and ATF combined efforts to jointly investigate McCandies and his local organization.

Story continues below:


For breaking news in between Thursday print editions, subscribe to AlamanceNews.com: MORE local news, MORE comprehensive coverage than any other source. 

Use this special to get the rest of November and December 2021 FREE when you subscribe for one- or two-year subscription ($50 or $79, respectively). 

Note: for in-county subscribers, your subscription also includes a print edition by mail each week. 

Sign up now: https://alamancenews.com/membership-account/membership-levels/


According to the SBI, McCandies’ primary source of supply for cocaine was known to be Brian Stewart.  DEA Greensboro RO investigations had previously connected Stewart to cocaine sources of supply, who had connections to known high-level Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) traffickers in Alamance County and elsewhere in North Carolina.

Beginning in September of 2020, DEA, SBI, and ANET organized a joint effort and pooled resources to investigate McCandies, Stewart and those who supplied them with cocaine and other drugs.  This joint effort led investigators to numerous violent individuals and helped solve multiple shootings and homicides in Alamance County as well as approximately 13 additional investigations involving purchase/sale, possession, use of a firearm, armed robberies, and violent assaults.

According to the SBI, each federal, state, and local law enforcement agency leveraged its resources to advance the investigation from the local violent gang drug distributors to the mid-level local distributors to regional high-level cocaine and crystal methamphetamine traffickers communicating directly with CJNG cell heads.

As a result of this investigation, several multi-kilogram cocaine distributors in Alamance and surrounding counties were arrested.  Jesus Jimenez-Mencias, Sergio Castro-Martinez, Raul Banos-Andaya, and others were recently arrested with significant quantities of cocaine and crystal methamphetamine, firearms, and drug proceeds (U.S. currency).

Results of this multi-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation include:  seizures of 274 kilograms (602 lbs.) of cocaine, 62 kilograms (136 lbs.) of crystal methamphetamine, 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs.) of heroin, $3.74 million in U.S. currency, 22 firearms; 53 arrests (three related to shootings); anticipated additional arrests, 10.

In 2021 alone, the SBI summarized, there have been multiple significant enforcement actions, seizures, and arrests in this investigation thanks to the cooperation of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

The DEA, ANET, and SBI’s investigation inspired the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office and the Burlington Police Department to form a Violent Crime Task Force that utilized much of the early intelligence information to investigate local violence.

The investigation also spread throughout North Carolina, according to the SBI, and was supported by numerous other law enforcement agencies, including:  the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Greensboro Police Department, Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, Reidsville Police Department, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Durham County Sheriff’s Office, Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, and Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.

 

ARRESTED

As a result, 53 individuals have been arrested on drug, weapon, and/or assault charges.  According to the SBI, those arrested (with their names, race, sex, birth dates, and address) and their charges are:

1) Tre McCandies, B/M, 7/23/1992 of 840 Ross Street, Burlington, NC

1-Sell/Deliver Cocaine (3 counts)

2-Sell/Deliver Marijuana (2 counts)

3-Possess Firearm by Felon

 

2) Carlton Cates, W/M, 5/4/1962 of 1131 Castle Drive, Graham, NC

1-Possess Cocaine (2 counts)

2-Possess Marijuana

 

3) Dyquan Tomarious Page, B/M, 1/6/1994 of 119 Brooks Street, Burlington, NC

1-Posses Firearm by Felon  

 

4) Julius Devonte Gray, B/M, 2/21/2001 of 1005 Jeffries Street, Burlington, NC

1-Assault with Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill (2 counts)

 

5) Brian Maurice Stewart, B/M, 5/5/1980 of 287 Thistle Downs Drive, Burlington, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine (2 counts)

2-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine

 

6) Crystal Nacole Martin, B/F, 8/10/1983 of 171 Salvet Street, Apt 203, Burlington, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine (2 counts)

2-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine

 

7) Darion Crittle, B/M, 8/16/1998 of 7439 Woodspring Drive, Whitsett, NC

1-Possess Firearm by Felon

 

8) Christopher Michael May, W/M, 9/4/1971 of 5419 S NC Hwy 62, Burlington, NC

1-Possess Cocaine

2-Possess Marijuana

 

9) Lakissa Evans, B/F, 4/12/1993, of 840 Ross Street, Burlington, NC

1-Sell/Deliver Cocaine

 

10) Tyreik Raekqon Woods, B/M, 4/3/1997 of 1009 Bridgewater Drive, Graham, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Possess Firearm by Felon

 

11) Devante Shaquan Parker, B/M, 7/24/1993 of 620 Tucker Street, Burlington, NC

1-Possess Firearm by Felon

 

12) David Wicker, W/M, 12/18/1962 of 105 Ian Ct, Gibsonville, NC

1-Possess Cocaine

 

13) Markell Lamar Vaughn, B/M 3/26/1986 of 312 Stokes Street, Burlington, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine

 

14) Kali Rashe Haith, B/M, 10/15/1979 of 702 S. Sellars Mill Road, Burlington, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine

3-Possess Cocaine

4-Possess with Intent Sale Deliver Marijuana

 

15) Richard Benard Haith, B/M, 9/25/1954 of 605 Holly Street, Burlington, NC

1-Possess with Intent Sale Deliver Marijuana (2 counts)

2-Possess with Intent Sale Deliver Cocaine (2 counts)

3-Trafficking Cocaine

4-Possess Firearm by Felon

 

16) Shaquenton Bryant Moore, B/M, 4/28/1988 of 700 S. Sellars Mill Road, Burlington, NC

1-Possess with Intent Sale Deliver Marijuana

 

17) Ladarien Quentor Gates, B/M, 3/5/1990 of 200 Shirway Court, Lexington, NC

1-Trafficking Heroin

2-Possess Firearm by Felon

 

18) Jose Manuel Pacheco-Hernandez, H/M, 2/17/1971 of 214 Memory Lane, Chapel Hill, NC

1-Trafficking Heroin

2-Trafficking Cocaine

3-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

19) Jermaine Karlos Poole, B/M, 10/6/1979 of 2009 Landon Court, Burlington, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine (2 counts)

2-Speed to Elude Arrest

3-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine

 

20) Silverio Espino Jr, H/M, 7/26/1990 of 611 Broad Street, Fuquay Varina, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

 

21) Luis Geraldo Herrea-Becerra, H/M, 8/16/1978 of 14th Street, Fuquay Varina, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

 

22) Jose Pilar Lozano, H/M, 11/11/1965 of 2001 Qual Lane, Mission, TX

1-Trafficking Cocaine

 

23) Jesus Alexis Jimenez-Mencias, H/M, 12/7/1995 of 2427 Carolina Road, Burlington, NC

1-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine (4 counts)

2-Conspiracy Traffic Methamphetamines

3-Trafficking Cocaine

4-Trafficking Methamphetamines 

 

24) Fermin Lopez Madrid, H/M, 9/6/1972 of 1600 Pikerking Road, Little Rock, AR

1-Trafficking Cocaine

 

25) Sergio Castro Martinez, H/M, 11/23/1987 of 1135 Rogers Road, Graham, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

26) Daniel Hernandez Romo, H/M, 7/10/1973 of 3607 Mccuiston Road, Graham, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

27) Jose Ignacio Lares Nunez, H/M, 1/26/1999 of 3331 NC 62 South, Liberty, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Trafficking Heroin

 

28) Osvaldo Michael Espinoza Rodriguez, H/M, 12/13/1989 of 3331 NC South, Liberty, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Trafficking Heroin

 

29) Enrique Molina, H/M, 8/4/1966 of 801 Sevier Street, Greensboro, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

 

30) Haylee Simone Phillippe, H/F, 10/27/2001 of 6186 S NC 87, Graham, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Child Abuse

 

31) Ramon Gonzalez, H/M, 1/5/2001 of 6186 S NC 87, Graham, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Child Abuse

 

32) Gaspar Garcia, H/M, 7/21/1969 of 1126 Kelly Street, Graham, NC

1-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine (3 counts)

 

33) Hernan Fonseca Cortes, H/M, 7/10/1987 of 2011 Oliva Street, Edinburg, TX

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

34) Brian Mendoza, H/M, 10/31/00 of 13139 Beech Avenue, Edinburg, TX

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

35) Joe Guadalupe Arebalo, H/M 10/19/1974 of 1012 Geneva Street, Rio Grande, TX

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

36) Raule Banos Anday, H/M, 5/20/1981 of 3049 Bermuda Bay, Apt 105, Mebane, NC

1-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine (2 counts)

2-Trafficking Cocaine

 

37) Charles Phillips Jr, W/M, 12/13/1972 of 223 W Schunior Street, Edinburg, TX

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

38) George Barrera Salas, H/M, 6/3/1981 of 2424 Dry Creek Ln, Lt 35, Burlington, NC

1-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

2-Trafficking Cocaine

3-Trafficking Methamphetamine

 

39) Lamont Lorenzo Holt, B/M, 6/16/1974 of 5818 Patterson Road, Durham, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

40) Johnny C Smith II, B/M, 4/30/1974 of 2 Governor Martin Street, Apt 4C, Efland, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine (2 Counts)

 

41) Alvorn Turner, B/M, 3/14/1974 of 413 Cain Drive, Mebane, NC

1-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine (2 Counts)

2-Trafficking Cocaine

3-Possess Firearm by Felon

 

42) Jose De Jesus Flores Zepeda, H/M, 5/22/1985 of Mexico, unknown address

1-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

43) Francisco Javier Lamas-Zendejas, H/M, 1/9/1989 of Mexico, unknown address

1-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

44) Erwin Alberto Quintero, H/M, 9/1/1993 of 409 Cedar Street, Lodi, CA

1-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

45) Fanny Medina Marin, H/F, 5/10/1979 of 3049 Bermuda Bay, Apt 105, Mebane, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

 

46) Yeuming He, A/M, 4/6/1980 of 873 72nd Street, Brooklyn, NY

1-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

47) Puquan Huang, A/M, 12/18/1975 of 8815 25th Avenue, Apt F, Brooklyn, NY

1-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

48) Alama Aranely Arellano Sanchez, H/F, 9/12/1989 of 3584 Jennifer View Drive, Asheboro, NC

 

1-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

2-Trafficking Cocaine

 

49) Jorge Eduardo Chavez-Alonso, H/M, 12/10/1967 of Haw River, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

 

50) Jarnett Devon Ellison, B/M, 1/26/1989 of 613 Lancaster Road, Mebane, NC

 

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Speed to Elude Arrest

 

51) Saul Enrique Rosales, H/M, 1/11/1994 of 211 Arch Angel Drive, Chaparral, NM

1-Trafficking Methamphetamine

 

52) Karla Paola Ibarra-Villarreal, H/M, 5/14/1995 of 2427 Carolina Road, Burlington, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Trafficking Methamphetamine

3-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

4-Conspiracy Traffic Methamphetamine

 

53) Jorge Alberto Henriquez Castro, H/M, 7/17/1981 of 2427 Carolina Road, Burlington, NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Trafficking Methamphetamine

3-Possess Stolen Firearm

 

STILL WANTED

In addition, there are 10 individuals who remain wanted as a result of this investigation.  Their names are below:

1) Patricia Media Vital, H/F, 2/3/1976 of 1314 Queen Ann Street, Burlington NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Trafficking Methamphetamine

3-Conspiracy Traffic Cocaine

4-Conspiracy Traffic Methamphetamine

 

2) Johnathan Ramirez Gonzalez, H/M, 9/22/1997 of Mexico

1-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine

 

3) Christopher Carillo Mencias, H/M, 12/26/1992 of Mexico

 

1-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine

 

4) Christopher Paul Carey, W/M, 11/24/1986 of 2905 Gym Road, Efland NC

1-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine

 

5) Ramiro Ruiz Rodriguez, H/M, 9/22/1983 of 1105 Greenwich Drive, Reidsville NC

1-Trafficking Cocaine

2-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine

 

6) Trisha Ann McCandies, B/F, 12/16/1994, of 2907 Ingleside Avenue, Greensboro NC

1-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine

 

7) Yazer Omar Castro, H/M, 8/28/1995 of 1135 Rogers Road, Graham NC

1-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine

 

8) Priscilla Ashley A Jimenez, H/F, 11/29/92 of 1135 Rogers Road, Graham NC

1-Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine

 

Haylee Simon Phillippe, H/F 10/27/2001 and Ramon Gonzalez, H/M 1/05/2001 (also listed above, wanted on additional charges of Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine)

According to the SBI, the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the individuals who remain wanted is asked to call Alamance County Crime Stoppers at 336-229-7100 or text 8398 to 274637 for the text-tip method.

The SBI expressed appreciation for the public’s help. “While we continue to investigate, we thank the community for your continued support as we work to make our neighborhoods safer,” according to the release from the SBI.

Must Read

First day of candidate filing interrupted by court’s delay of federal...

Being the early bird didn’t exactly help state senator Amy Scott Galey secure the proverbial worm on Monday when candidate registration for next year’s...

Mebane Christmas Parade