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Testimony details ‘Rockfish’ operations and destinations

By LANCE MARTIN
rrspin.com

Recently redacted transcripts of detention hearings for four defendants in the Operation Rockfish police corruption case show in addition to a warehouse in Rocky Mount, the Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport was often used in the operation.

The document, which dates back to August 10, 2015 and is contained in the federal court record, also shows the destinations made in trips to haul purported drugs and money throughout the region, which include stops in Maryland and South Carolina.

The transcript is based on the testimony of an FBI agent, who was not the lead in the investigation, but was assigned to the case because of his experience in white collar and public corruption crimes.

The agent was testifying in the detention hearings of Adrienne Moody, a former correctional officer with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS); former Windsor Police Officer Antonio Tillmon; Alaina Sue Kam-Ling, a former NCDPS correctional officer; and Crystal Pierce, a private citizen living in Raleigh at the time of her arrest.

The operation, the agent testified, was initiated in April of 2013 “to investigate allegations of systematic corruption within the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office. Based on source reporting that some Northampton County Sheriff’s Office deputy sheriffs were corrupt, the FBI opened this undercover investigation.”

Throughout the investigation, the agent testified, deputies, a Windsor police officer, several correctional officers and others were recorded transporting drugs and proceeds for what they believed was a large-scale trafficking organization.

“The investigation grew through subjects recruiting other subjects to participate,” the agent testified. “The defendants understood they were being recruited to work (for the organization) because of their status as law enforcement or their ties to law enforcement and they were to bring their badges and guns to protect the drugs from law enforcement and other criminals.”

The agent’s testimony explains neither the drug trafficking organization or the drugs they were transporting were real but were packaged to look like real cocaine and heroin. “On the day of the arrest, all defendants arrived at locations used in previous operations believing that they were going to participate in another transport of kilogram quantities of narcotics,” he stated.

All defendants, except Tillmon, have pled guilty in the case. Tillmon’s trial is expected to begin later this month.

The 15 were indicted by a federal grand jury in April of 2015.

Operation 1

Aug. 22, 2013

The first operation involved Lann Clanton, a former correctional officer with the Virginia Department of Corrections and former Weldon police officer, who extorted $10,000 in drug proceeds from a courier.

Operation 2

Sept. 26, 2013

Clanton transported 10 kilograms of cocaine from Dillon, SC to Emporia, VA.

Operation 3

Nov. 7, 2013

Clanton and Ikeisha Jacobs, a former deputy with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, transported $250,000 in drug proceeds from Roanoke Rapids to Dillon, SC.

Operation 4

Dec. 19, 2013

Clanton, Jacobs, Moody and former Northampton Sheriff’s Deputy Wardie Vincent Jr. transported $500,000 in drug proceeds from Virginia to Dillon, SC.

Operation 5

Feb. 20, 2014

Clanton, Jacobs, Vincent, Moody, and former Northampton Sheriff’s deputies Jason Boone and Cory Jackson transported $750,000 in drug proceeds from Emporia, VA to Lumberton, NC for a drug sale and then transported 25 kilos of cocaine from Lumberton to Skippers, VA.

Operation 6

April 2, 2014

Clanton and Jacobs accepted Rolex watches as bribes.

Operation 7

April 24, 2014

Clanton, Jacobs, Jason Boone, Vincent, Moody, Jackson and former Northampton Sheriff’s Deputy Curtis Boone transported $1 million in bearer bonds and $500,000 in cash from Emporia, VA to the warehouse in Rocky Mount.

Operation 8

May 20, 2014

Clanton, Jason Boone, Curtis Boone, Vincent, Jackson, and former Northampton Sheriff’s Deputy Jimmy Pair Jr. transported 10 kilos of heroin from the airport to the warehouse and then escorted the drugs to the Virginia border.

Operation 9

June 18, 2014

Clanton, Jason Boone, Vincent, Jackson, Pair, Curtis Boone and former Northampton Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Allen II transported 20 kilos of cocaine from Lumberton to the warehouse and then escorted the drugs to the Virginia border.

The agent noted in his testimony the warehouse was the base of operations during Rockfish.

Operation 11

Aug. 20, 2014

The testimony notes there was no Operation 10, although it doesn’t clarify why there was no such operation.

Clanton, Jacobs, Jason Boone, Vincent, Moody, Pair, Tillmon, Kam-Ling, former NCDPS correctional officer Kavon Phillips and Pierce transported 10 kilos of heroin from the airport to the warehouse and then to National Harbor, Maryland.

The drugs were flown to Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport, the transcript reveals, and the airport was used in subsequent operations.

Operation 12

Oct. 22, 2014

Jacobs, Moody, Tillmon, Kam-Ling, Phillips and Pierce transported 10 kilos of heroin from the warehouse to Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Operation 13

Dec. 16, 2014

Clanton, Jason Boone, Vincent, Jackson, Pair, Curtis Boone and Alphonso Ponton, a former correctional officer with the Virginia Department of Corrections, transported 10 kilos of heroin from the airport to the warehouse and then escorted the drugs to the Virginia border.

No Operation 14 and Operation 15 intentionally cancelled.

Operation 16

March 26, 2015

Clanton, Jacobs, Jason Boone, Tillmon, Kam-Ling, Phillips and Tosha Dailey, a former 911 Dispatcher with Northampton County, transported 20 kilos of heroin from Lumberton to the warehouse. Half of the original amount was taken to National Harbor.

The Operation Rockfish police corruption sting contains 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.

(Lance Martin is the Editor and Publisher for www.rrspin.com. Permission was given to publish this story.)