For Immediate Release
Arrests Made in Drug and Firearm Charges in and Around Craven County
NEW BERN – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Robert J. Higdon, Jr., District Attorney Scott Thomas, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announce the arrests yesterday of eight defendants pursuant to three federal indictments for drug and firearms charges.
A 35-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on October 17, 2017. The indictment charges nine defendants with conspiracy to distribute heroin and marijuana and various drug offenses, one defendant with operating a continuing criminal enterprise, and three defendants with firearm offenses arising out of a Title III wiretap investigation in Craven County.
The defendants include:
- CALVIN MARK WILSON, aka “Bali,” 33, of New Bern, NC
- MARIO CORRELLUS BARGNEARE, aka “Rio,” 38, of New Bern, NC
- WILLIE FRANK JAMES AHERN, aka “White, White Bread, Dribs,” 38, of Bayboro, NC
- DEREK JACQUAN WIGGINS, aka “DJ,” 37, of New Bern, NC
- ROY JAMES NOLON, aka “Henny,” 20, of New Bern, NC
- MICHAEL QUALEEK VELASQUEZ, aka “Moo Moo,” 22, of New Bern, NC (currently housed in the Bertie Correctional Institution)
- LAMAR HOSEA WIGGINS, aka “LB,” 39, of New Bern, NC
- LASHAWNNA JAQUETTE MCCOTTER, aka “Flossy,” 46, of New Bern, NC
- LATREKA DENISE HARDESTY, aka “T,” 26, of New Bern, NC
Additionally, ADRIENNE MICHELLE HALL, 34, of New Bern, NC, was indicted for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and for possession of heroin. CAROLINE LOUISE HUGHES, 27, of Alliance, NC, also faces a 3-count indictment for conspiracy to distribute heroin and distributing heroin.
In addition to the federal arrests, three other individuals were arrested by the New Bern Police Department for state drug and firearm offenses. Suquanna Robinson, 33, of New Bern, NC, was arrested for possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin and maintaining a dwelling. Dwayne Stallings, 32, of Cove City, was arrested for possession of a stolen firearm. Finally, Nassar Mack, 36, of New Bern, NC, was arrested for possession of a firearm by a felon.
“The heroin epidemic is affecting the lives of citizens here in North Carolina and throughout the nation,” commented U.S. Attorney Higdon. “In fact we are losing more than 3 North Carolinians to drug overdoses every day. And, heroin and opioids are driving a significant portion of this devastating problem. This prosecution reflects the commitment of this office and that of our state and local law enforcement partners in combating this crisis and targeting those who put these dangerous drugs on the streets.”
District Attorney Scott Thomas said, “This coordinated investigation between local, state and federal agencies is part of our ongoing effort to combat violence and illegal drug activity in our area. The fight against crime requires cooperation between law enforcement agencies and prosecutors at the state and federal levels to be successful. My office will continue to work closely with the United States Attorney’s Office as these and similar cases are investigated and prosecuted in the future.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge CJ Hyman stated, “One of ATF’s primary missions is to combat violent crime, and this investigation is a great example of the positive results that can be accomplished when we collaborate with our law enforcement partners to accomplish the common goal of making our communities safer.”
“I applaud the spirit of cooperation that exists at local, state and federal levels”, said New Bern's Chief of Police, Toussaint E. Summers, Jr., as he remarked on the arrests yesterday that represented a coordinated effort of more than two years. “The citizens of the City of New Bern, Craven County and eastern North Carolina can be assured that the law enforcement community as well as federal and state prosecutors will work together to use all available resources to remove drug traffickers from the streets of our community.”
All but two of the defendants charged in the federal indictments are in custody pending trial. DEREK WIGGINS and LAMAR WIGGINS remain at large.
In addition to the arrests, law enforcement executed seven search warrants of residences in Craven County as part of a multi-year investigation into the violent drug trafficking organization. This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation entitled Operation 190.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictments are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), New Bern Police Department, Jacksonville Police Department, Craven County Sheriff’s Office, Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, Trentwood Police Department, Carteret County Sheriff’s Office,Morehead City Police Department, and with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).