Prosecutors: Officers accused in drug sting have confessed
Posted May 6, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Prosecutors said Wednesday that each of the law enforcement officers from North Carolina and Virginia indicted in connection with drug-trafficking operations along the East Coast has admitted to the crimes.
The two-year investigation, dubbed "Operation Rockfish," uncovered 16 separate trafficking operations that took place between August 2013 and March 2015. During a bond hearing in federal court Wednesday, investigators showed surveillance video and photos they said captured the defendants engaged in illegal acts.
"They all gave some sort of confession," a prosecutor told the judge. "Each of these defendants admitted to their involvement."
The judge on Wednesday did not render a decision on bond for the nine suspects who were in court, saying he needed more time to review the evidence. So, the officers remained in custody.
FBI agents arrested 15 people, including seven current or former Northampton County deputies and three North Carolina corrections officers, on Thursday after a grand jury issued a 54-count indictment that accuses them of moving large quantities of cocaine and heroin through North Carolina for distribution in South Carolina and Maryland.
The federal indictment charges the following people with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin and with carrying and using firearms in relation to drug trafficking offenses:
- Northampton County deputies Ikeisha Jacobs, 32, Jason Boone, 29, Jimmy Pair Jr., 48, Curtis Boone, 31, and Thomas Jefferson Allen II, 37
- Former Northampton County deputies Cory Jackson, 43, and Wardie Vincent Jr., 35, the son of a former Northampton County sheriff
- Northampton County 911 dispatcher Tosha Dailey, 31
- North Carolina Department of Public Safety corrections officers Adrienne Moody, 39, Alaina Sue-kam-ling, 27, and Kavon Phillips, 25. Like Moody, Phillips work at Odom Correctional Institution in Jackson, while Sue-kam-ling works at Brown Creek Correctional Institution in Polkton.
- Windsor police officer Antonio Tillman, 31
- Virginia Department of Corrections officers Lann Tjuan Clanton, 36, and Alphonso Ponton, 42
- Raleigh resident Crystal Pierce, 31
During Wednesday's bond hearing, prosecutors alleged that Virginia corrections officer Lann Tijuan Clanton, 36, transported what he believed to be 55 kilograms of cocaine, 60 kilograms of heroin and $3 million in drug proceeds. Prosecutors said the drugs and money were packaged to look like larger amounts.
Clanton is also accused of receiving $41,350 in drug proceeds and bribes, and a $9,000 Rolex watch.
His estranged wife, Kasharen Clanton, fought back tears while on the witness stand, saying she didn’t notice any unusual expenditures and that he had asked her for money. She said Clanton can’t be a father to their 13-year-old daughter from a prison cell.
"We have a daughter, and she needs her daddy at home," she said.
Clanton’s mother also cried during testimony, saying Clanton takes care of her because she is disabled.
Prosecutors said they have surveillance photos and video of Clanton, a former Weldon police officer, that shows him committing illegal acts. They also said he took on a leadership role in the operation, recruiting other defendants and giving them orders.
The mother of another accused officer, Ikeisha Jacobs, 32, testified that her daughter had two children and was active in their school and at church.
Jacobs, a sergeant with the Northampton County Sheriff's Office, is accused of transporting what she thought was 25 kilograms of cocaine, 30 kilograms of heroin and $3 million in proceeds. Prosecutors said she received $23,420 in bribes and a Rolex watch.
Prosecutors also said Jacobs had a leadership role in the operation.