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Judge denies release for 8 drug sting suspects

Posted May 7, 2015

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— A federal judge on Thursday denied bond to eight law enforcement officers from North Carolina and Virginia who are indicted in a drug sting.

The eight officers are among 15 named in a 54-count indictment that alleges they took part in drug-trafficking operations along the East Coast. The investigation, dubbed “Operation Rockfish,” uncovered 16 separate operations between August 2013 and March 2015 to move large quantities of cocaine, heroin and cash through North Carolina along the Interstate 95 corridor.

The judge on Thursday allowed one of the defendants – Northampton County 911 dispatcher Tosha Dailey - to be released into the custody of her parents.

In closing remarks, attorneys for the suspects argued that they are not a flight risk and pose no danger to their communities. They said all the officers have strong families who would be reliable third-party custodians.

Several of the attorneys called Operation Rockfish a sham because the officers were given fake drugs by FBI agents.

However, Judge James Gates said the suspects have “a strong incentive to flee.”

Most family members leaving the courtroom in Raleigh declined to comment on the judge’s decision. But Garfield Green said his son, Alphonso Ponton, should be home.

“I mean, he made a mistake and nobody’s perfect,” he said.


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  • Joey Brandt May 8, 2015
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    They need to be right where they are. Law enforcement is out of control!

  • Holly Atkins May 8, 2015
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    Can't be a sham if the intent was real AND you actually admitted to doing it.

    Hope they go away for a LONG time. They're just worried about those prisoners they put in there or looked over for so many years getting revenge.

  • Brent Young May 8, 2015
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    Even if they are not guilty of possession of drugs they are guilty of conspiracy to sell drugs. They had every intention to take the drugs and sell them for a profit. If they were on the up and up the fake drugs would be in the evidence room of their respective agencies.

  • Jeff Johnson May 7, 2015
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    Some attorneys seem to misunderstand the term "intent of the law" and how that plays with the suspects 'intentions' (fake drugs or not, what was the intention?).
    Bravo Judge for helping to keep us citizens safer.