Authorities completed the dismantling of a violent drug trafficking organization on Wednesday when a judge sentenced the group’s three remaining members responsible for shipping and distributing large quantities of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in North Carolina.
The three individuals belonged to what prosecutors called “the Maurio Mitchell Drug Trafficking Organization” and include its alleged leader, 34-year-old Maurio Tajara Mitchell. Several of the group’s members are also part of the United Blood Nation’s Omega Line, a violent street gang operating within the Triangle area.
The Raleigh-Durham Safe Streets Task Force of the FBI began conducting a Title III Wiretap investigation into the Maurio Mitchell organization in January of 2016. This revealed that the crew was responsible for shipping and receiving large quantities of powder cocaine in the Triangle area, provided by cartel members in Los Angeles, California. Mitchell and 47-year-old Mark Daye were the main connection between the cartel suppliers in Los Angeles and the distributors in North Carolina.
This powder cocaine was further broken down and distributed to mid-level and street-level dealers in the Durham, North Carolina, and surrounding areas. This organization was supported and protected by the members of the Omega Line of the United Blood Nation, active on the south side of Durham. This violent street gang is responsible for a large portion of the gang violence that Durham has seen over the past several years.
For their roles in this expansive drug pipeline, Michell was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Daye received a sentence of 30 years behind bars. That same day, the judge also sentenced 27-year-old Sandy Darnell Ledbetter, Jr., who got 20 years.
Earlier, six other members of the group were handed out sentenced ranging from five months to 16 years.
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