McDowell raids massive drug network today


Seized during the raids Tuesday were approximately 20 pounds of methamphetamine, an estimated $500,000 in cash, more than half a pound of marijuana, up to 4 ounces of fentanyl and other small amounts of pills, as well as firearms, cell phones and vehicles.

McDOWELL COUNTY, N.C. — What began as an investigation into a Nebo man’s drug activity has led local, regional, state and federal authorities to dozens of suspects in a massive narcotics conspiracy that spans from McDowell County to California.

The investigation began in July 2016 with a probe of activity at the 100 Stacy Farm Road residence of 36-year-old Jamie Leonard Tate. It was determined that Tate and 35-year-old Dwayne Bullock, of Newton, conspired with numerous people to traffic and distribute hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as lesser amounts of cocaine and heroin.

On Tuesday, April 18, authorities began rounding up suspects in the conspiracy, raiding areas simultaneously in McDowell, Burke and Catawba counties, locations believed to be used for storing and distributing narcotics.

Seized during the raids Tuesday were approximately 20 pounds of methamphetamine, an estimated $500,000 in cash, more than half a pound of marijuana, up to 4 ounces of fentanyl and other small amounts of pills, as well as firearms, cell phones and vehicles.

Those arrested Tuesday and their charges include the following:

    •  Jamie Leonard Tate, 36, of 100 Stacy Farm Road in Nebo, six counts of trafficking methamphetamine, three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a Schedule II controlled substance and continuing a criminal enterprise. He is in the McDowell County jail under a $5 million bond.
    •  Leah Patience Davis, 37, of 100 Stacy Farm Road in Nebo, six counts of trafficking methamphetamine, three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count of aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. She is in the McDowell County jail under a $1 million bond.
    •  Gregory Adonis Rutherford, 25, of 4475 Shade Valley Drive and 3162 Ed Bowman St., both in Morganton, three counts each of trafficking methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic m ethamphetamine and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a Schedule II controlled substance and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. He is in the McDowell County jail under a $1 million bond.
    •  Randy “Big Country” Scott, 49, of 2041 U.S. 70 West, Apt. 2 in Marion, six counts of trafficking methamphetamine, three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a Schedule II controlled substance and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. He is in the McDowell County jail under a $1 million bond.
    •  Aretha Gilley Fullwood, 45, of 4186 Snow Hill Church Road in Morganton, three counts each of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic heroin and one count each of trafficking methamphetamine and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. She is in the McDowell County jail under a $500,000 bond.



  •  Aretha Faye Giles, 55, of 100 17th St. West in Newto n, three counts each of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic heroin and one count of aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. She is in the McDowell County jail under a $500,000 bond.
  •  Karita Shanece “China” Bullock, 28, of 2999 Shangri La Drive in Conover, six counts of trafficking methamphetamine, three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count of aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. She is in the McDowell County jail under a $1 million bond.
    Three suspects with warrants were unable to be located Tuesday. They are as follows:
  •  Dwayne Bullock, 35, of 100 17th St. West in Newton, wanted on six counts of conspiracy to traffic heroin, three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count of continuing a criminal enterprise.
  •  Marqueseo Marshay “Pepe” Pearson, 37, of 129 Stephens Drive in Morganton, wanted on three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamin e and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a Schedule II controlled substance and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise.
  •  William Jackie Pearson, 66, of 129 Stephens Drive in Morganton, wanted on three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a Schedule II controlled substance and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise.

The drug conspiracy investigation was a nine-month joint, multi-jurisdictional effort of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office; the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation; Marion Police Department; the McDowell County District Attorney’s Office; the Burke County Sheriff’s Office; Morganton Department of Public Safety; Newton Police Department; the N.C. Highway Patrol; the U.S. Postal Service; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Attorney’s Office; and U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Also providing aid at the scenes Tuesday were members of McDowell County Emergency Management, McDowell County EMS, Nebo Fire Department, N.C. Department of Revenue and N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement.

Additional arrests and charges are pending.


Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Dwayne Bullock, Marqueseo Pearson or Jackie Pearson is asked to call the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 652-2235, the McDowell County 911 communications center at 652-4000 or McDowell County Crimestoppers at 65-CRIME (652-7463). Now, you can also text your tips to Crimestoppers. Text MCDOWELLTIPS and your information to 274637 (CRIMES). With Crimestoppers, your identity remains anonymous, and you could receive a cash reward.

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