STATESVILLE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Richard L. Voorhees handed down yesterday lengthy prison terms to three individuals involved in a crack cocaine conspiracy, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. John Fitzgerald “Pumpy” Michaux, 31, of Hickory, N.C., and Terron Juandre “Wordle” Michaux, 29, of Lenoir, N.C. were each sentenced to 168 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. Jeremy “Tank” Dula, 28, of Lenoir, was sentenced to 80 months in prison and four years of supervised release for his role in the conspiracy.
According to court records and yesterday’s sentencing proceedings, beginning in 2013 and through September 2015 in Caldwell County and elsewhere, the three defendants engaged in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving more than five kilograms of crack cocaine. Court records show that over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized approximately 400 grams of crack cocaine, three firearms, and approximately $50,000. Each defendant pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Rose thanked the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Lenoir Police Department, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, the Hickory Police Department, the Mooresville Police Department, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office and the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office for investigating the case.
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In a separate case, Judge Voorhees sentenced yesterday Christopher Rios Rodriguez, 27, of Newton, N.C. to 136 months in prison and three years of supervised release on charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. According to court records and court proceedings, on August 17, 2015, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of Rodriguez’s vehicle and recovered 8,900 grams (approximately 10,000 dosage units) of 97% pure methamphetamine. Subsequent investigation revealed that Rodriguez was a source of supply for multiple kilograms of both methamphetamine and cocaine. Rodriguez pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine on March 1, 2016.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the Hickory Police Department and the Burke County Drug Task Force.
Assistant United States Attorney Steven Kaufman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the cases.