by: Jim Bradley Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
A woman at the center of major cocaine conspiracy allegations appeared in federal court in Charlotte Friday.
Twanda Pierce is accused of helping her boyfriend, Loris Gemon, run a drug ring that stretched from Florida to Charlotte to Pennsylvania.
Earlier this month Gemon was arrested in Florida. Federal agents say he is an illegal immigrant from Guyana who spent years building a drug empire that went undetected in Charlotte.
Agents also said Pierce not only helped deliver cocaine for Gemon but also helped launder proceeds from drug deals. They said Gemon kept his identity hidden by putting his numerous cars and businesses in the names of others, including Pierce. One car, a $54,000 Bentley, was purchased in the name of Pierce's mother.
Outside court Pierce refused to answer repeated questions about her alleged involvement in the case. She is free on a $25,000 bond.
Pierce told the judge who released her that she'll be living at a home in Matthews. Real estate records show it is valued at nearly $1 million.
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