A Benson man is among a host of defendants convicted of drug crimes in a federal crackdown on a multi-state trafficking ring.
Michael Dale Blackmon, 40, of Benson, was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to possess methamphetamine with an intent to distribute it. He also faces a $3,000 fine.
Blackmon was listed along with six co-defendants in a case linked to an organization accused of trafficking meth, fentanyl, heroin and cocaine from Mexico into the United States. A total of 20 defendants were indicted in two cases that spanned four states.
Beginning in 2020
According to court records, several local and federal law enforcement agencies began an investigation in 2020 into a multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking organization that was coordinating shipments of meth, cocaine, fentanyl and heroin into the Middle District of North Carolina.
“The poly-drug trafficking organization, based in Mexico, was operating in several jurisdictions within the United States, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and California,” stated a release from the office of U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Hairston of the Middle District. “Members of this organization had previously been convicted in the Middle District of North Carolina for drug trafficking through multiple jurisdictions across various states.”
“I am thankful for the work of our law enforcement partners in taking down a drug trafficking organization that has impacted so many communities in North Carolina and our neighboring states,” Hairston said in the release. “The impact of illegal drug trafficking reaches all corners of our community, and the pursuit of these organizations remains a top priority in the Department of Justice.”
Others sentenced were Jeffrey Scott Jones, 59, of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, to 16 years in prison and five years of supervised release; and Tammy Lynn Wagoner, 48, of Wilkesboro, to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release.
The investigation was jointly undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and sheriffs’ offices and police departments across North Carolina. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jake Pryor.