US: Four arrested on federal drug, gun, robbery charges
A total of eight defendants have been arrested on federal and state criminal charges during a two-day roundup conducted by the FBI, ATF, and CMPD, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Four of the defendants are charged with federal drug, gun, and robbery offenses, and four face state drug charges.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making Wednesday's announcement by Roger A. Coe, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division; Wayne L. Dixie, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division; Andrew Murray, District Attorney for Mecklenburg County; and Chief Rodney D. Monroe, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).
Wednesday's arrests and indictments are the result of a cross-jurisdictional and multi-agency investigation conducted by the FBI, ATF, and CMPD.
The goal of the investigation is to target and reduce violent crime in Mecklenburg County, with special emphasis placed on the Milton Road Corridor in northeast Charlotte.
Six of the eight defendants were apprehended on Tuesday. One more defendant was arrested Wednesday morning.
Those facing federal charges are Maurice Stuckey, 20; Ronald Centeno, 22; Arthur Thornton, 21; and Shaquan Howell, 23, all of Charlotte. Stuckey, Centeno, and Thornton made their initial appearances in federal court on Tuesday.
Howell, who was arrested Wednesday morning, had his initial appearance before Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer. (See chart below for a breakdown of federal charges and maximum penalties for each defendant).
Earlier this month, a fifth federal defendant connected to the investigation, Deshawn Lewis, 28, was charged with and pleaded guilty to federal firearms offenses on December 11.
The three arrested Tuesday on state drug charges are Milton Collins, 27, of Charlotte; George Martinez, 28, of New York; and John Cunningham, also of New York. Marchondray Wall, 39, was arrested on Friday, December 14, 2012, and also faces state drug offenses.
In making Wednesday's announcement U.S. Attorney Tompkins thanked the U.S. Probation Office, the North Carolina Division of Community Corrections, and North Carolina's Alcohol Law Enforcement for their assistance in this case.
The charges contained in these indictments are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The investigation is being handled by the FBI, ATF, and CMPD. The three law enforcement agencies are partner members of the Charlotte FBI Safe Streets Task Force, which is dedicated to investigating violent crime and making our streets and communities safer.
The prosecution for the government is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Greene of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Charlotte. Prosecution for the state charges is handled by the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office.