2015 Rewind: May

Published 10:59 am Thursday, December 31, 2015

From RCNH Archives

RALEIGH – Documents unsealed in early May contain a 54-count federal indictment that alleges 13 current and former law enforcement officers and two other individuals protected narcotics shipments and cash proceeds during transit along the East Coast for what they believed was a large-scale drug trafficking organization that was actually an undercover operation by the FBI.

“Operation Rockfish” has been ongoing for the past two years.

Seven of the 13 individuals indicted are either currently employed or were once employed with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, along with one Northampton County emergency response dispatcher. That list includes:

Deputy Ikeisha Jacobs, age 32;

Deputy Jason Boone, age 29;

Deputy Jimmy Pair Jr., age 48;

Deputy Curtis Boone, age 31;

Deputy Thomas Jefferson Allen II, age 37;

911 Dispatch Operator Tosha Dailey, age 31; and

Deputy Wardie Vincent Jr., age 35, and Deputy Cory Jackson, age 43, both formerly of the county’s Sheriff’s Office.

Northampton Sheriff Jack Smith immediately fired Jacobs, J. Boone, C. Boone, Pair and Allen.

“It’s certainly a sad day here; it’s sad when you hear of any law enforcement agency where the officers sworn to uphold the law are accused of breaking the law. But I’m sworn to uphold the same laws, and when it comes to any of the officers I’m in charge of not abiding by state or federal laws, I will terminate their employment immediately,” Smith said.

Additionally, 31-year-old Antonio Tillmon, a current member of the Windsor Police Department, was indicted.

Other indictments include:

Lann Tjuan Clanton, 36, a correctional officer with the Virginia Department of Corrections and former Weldon police officer;

Adrienne Moody, 39, a correctional officer with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety;

Alaina Kamling, 27, a correctional officer with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety;

Kavon Phillips, 25, a correctional officer with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety;

Crystal Pierce, 31, of Raleigh; and

Alphonso Ponton, 42, a correctional officer with the Virginia Department of Corrections.

The charges also include attempted extortion, attempted possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, money laundering, federal programs bribery, and use and carry of firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses. Those crimes date back to 2013.

The investigation into police corruption in Northampton County was spearheaded by information received by the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office which was then passed on to the FBI.

“Deputies contacted the FBI on day one and since day one have had an active role,” Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp said. “We received numerous tips and information from confidential informants. We follow up on every lead and every tip to make sure it’s credible.”

Tripp described Operation Rockfish as a major corruption sting operation centering on officers involved in the drug trade. However, none of the drugs involved in this undercover operation landed in the public’s hands.

“The actions by these individuals are particularly troubling due to their current and past affiliation with law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina. “Their alleged conduct was reprehensible and my office will not tolerate this kind of corruption in our district. I am grateful for the outstanding work of the FBI Special Agents who investigated this case.”