CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Federal agents, along with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers, arrested nearly a dozen suspected drug dealers overnight, removing them from the streets of the Queen City.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray announced that after a 10-month joint investigation, FBI agents and CMPD officers arrested 11 people during the early morning round-up.
Ten of those arrested face federal charges and one was arrested on state offenses. Two others currently in state custody have also been indicted federally, bringing the total number of those charged as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative to 13.
Sources told Channel 9 that one of the ringleaders, Ashley Bennett, 32, is a mother of four. Her children range in age from five to 12 years old.
“This morning’s round-up was the result of a joint law enforcement investigation into drug dealing and drug-related criminal activity in and around the Lakewood Community in Charlotte,” said Murray. “Today’s coordinated action is part of our PSN strategy, which calls upon all levels of law enforcement to combine forces to reduce drug distribution and drug-fueled crimes in our neighborhoods, and to increase community safety.”
The Lakewood neighborhood has a violent reputation.
"There is some fear, here, among the elderly people who live here," Rev. Dennis Williams said.
He is the pastor at Lakewood Baptist Church, which has been trying to turn the neighborhood around for years.
Williams believes the raid will help, and he recognized Bennett from a photo.
"She looks familiar,” Williams said. “I've seen her on the street corner from time to time. I reached out to her, had discussions with her, but it’s just one of those situations where we just couldn't get her to turn around."
Lakewood resident Tamika Ali moved to the neighborhood, and she said she was happy to see the police raid.
"Great, great, great,” Ali said. “It feels good to know they did get them off the street."
Those arrested Friday on federal charges of distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine are:
- Ashley Bennet, 32
- Travis Burris, 21
- Charles Berry, 49
- Andre Booker, 23
- Lemuel Carr, 21
- Marcus Hammonds, 33
- Jonathan Means, 38
- Jermaine Monroe, 37
- Robert Fitzgerald Moore, 53
- Dandre Morrison, 30
Bennet and Travis Burris were also charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Marcus Gregory was arrested Friday on state charges.
Two others already in state custody also face federal offenses. Shea Roseboro, 28, is charged with distribution and possession with intent distribute crack cocaine, and Kwame Hakeem Crawford, 27, is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
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