‘Rockfish’ defendants sentenced

Published 11:06 am Monday, June 19, 2017

GREENVILLE – A little over two years after their arrests, 14 of the 15 individuals nabbed in an undercover FBI operation targeting widespread police corruption have learned their fate.

At the end of two days of sentencing here Wednesday and Thursday in Federal Court, eight current/former law enforcement officers, four correctional officers and two other individuals were sentenced for their participation in trafficking narcotics and narcotics proceeds for a purported large-scale drug trafficking organization.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and United States Attorney John Stuart Bruce made the announcement.

Senior United States District Court Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced the following 14 defendants on a variety of charges, including conspiracy to distribute illegal narcotics, firearm charges and bribery charges:

Lann Tjuan Clanton, 38, of Garysburg was sentenced to 195 months; Ikeisha Jacobs, 33, of Rich Square (120 months); Jason Boone, 31, of Henrico (96 months); Wardie Vincent Jr., 37, of Henrico (72 months); Adrienne Moody, 38, of Roanoke Rapids (87 months); Cory Jackson, 45, of Garysburg (87 months); Jimmy Pair Jr., 50, (87 months); Curtis Boone, 37, of Gaston (87 months); Thomas Jefferson Allen, 39, of Roanoke Rapids (87 months); Alaina Sue-Kam-Ling, 27, of Charlotte (38 months); Kavon Phillips, 26, of Rich Square (57 months); Alphonso Ponton, 44, of Weldon (48 months); Crystal Pierce, 32, of Roanoke Rapids (6 months); and Tohsa Dailey, 37, of Garysburg, (24 months).

According to factual statements made in connection with the defendants’ guilty pleas, at the time of the crimes charged, Jacobs, Jason Boone, Pair Jr., Curtis Boone and Allen were Deputy Sheriffs at the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office; Clanton, Vincent Jr. and Jackson were former law enforcement officers; Moody, Sue-Kam-Ling, Phillips and Ponton were correctional officers; and Dailey was a 911 dispatch operator for Northampton County.

John Stuart Bruce, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, stated: “Our office was pleased to partner with the FBI and the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section in this important case. When law enforcement officers breach their public trust by agreeing to assist criminal organizations for profit, they must be held accountable, as was done in this prosecution.”

“They vowed to protect and serve, but instead these law enforcement officers sold their badges to line their own pockets. Public corruption is the number one criminal priority of the FBI and we will work aggressively to protect the public trust,” said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina.

The charges stemmed from a large-scale undercover investigation into allegations of systemic law enforcement corruption in Northampton County. Admissions made in connection with the defendants’ guilty pleas revealed that during the course of the undercover investigation, the defendants aided in transporting purported illegal narcotics and illegal narcotics proceeds through North Carolina and elsewhere in exchange for thousands of dollars of payments.

Last month, a federal jury convicted a fifteenth defendant, Antonio Tillmon, 34, of Windsor on drug, firearm and bribery charges relating to this scheme. Tillmon, a former officer with the Windsor Police Department, will be sentenced on Aug. 8.

All 15 defendants indicted in this case have now been convicted of various offenses.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Charlotte Division, Raleigh Resident Agency. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Toby W. Lathan of the Eastern District of North Carolina and Trial Attorneys Lauren Bell and Molly Gaston of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.