United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced TRAVIS KWYMAINE RUFFIN, 29, of Wilson, North Carolina to 54 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release; MARCUS ANTWAN WILEY, also known as “MARK,” 29, of Elm City, North Carolina to 57 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release; and Michael speight, 26, of Elm City, North Carolina to 60 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release.
The prosecution of RUFFIN, WILEY, and SPEIGHT was a part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation (OCDETF), announced by the United States Attorney’s Office earlier this summer, which resulted in the arrest of several defendants for outstanding federal and state charges in a coordinated warrant enforcement operation. The investigation focused on heroin and cocaine trafficking in Nash, Edgcombe and Wilson counties.
RUFFIN, WILEY, and SPEIGHT were named in an eleven-count Indictment filed on June 13, 2018 charging them with drug conspiracy running from at least August 1, 2017 until mid-June of 2018. Specifically, RUFFIN was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base (crack) and a quantity of heroin. On August 23, 2018, RUFFIN pled guilty to the conspiracy charge as well as distribution of a quantity of heroin. WILEY was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin. On August 23, 2018, WILEY pled guilty to the conspiracy charge as well as distribution of a quantity of heroin. SPEIGHT was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base (crack). On August 23, 2018, SPEIGHT pled guilty to the conspiracy charge.
According to the investigation, RUFFIN, WILEY, and SPEIGHT were a part of a drug trafficking organization that distributed cocaine, cocaine base (crack), heroin, and marijuana throughout the Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson counties. As part of the investigation, law enforcement recorded telephone calls where RUFFIN, WILEY, and SPEIGHT each discussed the drug conspiracy, their roles in the crime and made arrangements for further transactions. WILEY and RUFFIN sold 10 bricks of heroin each, which is approximately 1000 individual bags. At the time of the instant offense, WILEY was on supervised release resulting from a 2009 federal conviction of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, armed bank robbery, and the use and carrying of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. After WILEY admitted to the criminal activity, his term of supervised release was revoked and he was sentenced to an additional 37 months’ imprisonment to be served at the conclusion of his sentence for the drug conspiracy.
This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Office’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.
Investigation of this enforcement operation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (ATF), the United States Marshal Service (USMS), United States Probation Office, Nash County Sheriff’s Office, Wilson Police Department, Rocky Mount Police Department, Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office, Tarboro Police Department, Spring Hope Police Department, Nashville Police Department, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Assistant United States Attorney Dena King represented the government.