FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A Fayetteville man was sentenced on Friday to more than 32 years in prison for kidnapping and having illegal substances in 2018 and 2019, according to Michael Easley, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
According to court documents, Yomere Juan Busbee, aka “Ram”, 38, and two co-defendants, James Calvin McEachern Jr. and Merianda Gray held three adults victims and a two-year-old child against their will in a Fayetteville motel room in December 2018.
Busbee accused the victims of stealing several hundred dollars from him. Easley said at the time of the incident, Busbee was a convicted felon who dealt drugs and prostituted women, assisted by McEachern.
The victims were physically and sexually assaulted for several hours, and they saw Busbee brandish a firearm and McEachern brandish a taser to coerce them into cooperating, officials said.
Easley said one of the victims was able to message a family member who called 911. After learning that Fayetteville police officers were responding to the incident, Busbee and McEachern fled the scene.
“The defendant drove violence and exploitation in the Fayetteville community,” Easley said in the news release. “Busbee led a prostitution and drug ring using physical violence, threats, or drugs to cause women to engage in commercial sex and keep all their profits. He will now spend the next 32 years in prison.”
In January 2019, Fayetteville police detectives who were investigating the kidnapping caught Busbee at another Fayetteville motel. After searching the motel room and Busbee’s vehicle, police found two handguns (one of which was stolen), large amounts of heroin, cocaine and crack, officials said.
Easley said Gray pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and was sentenced to over seven years in prison, five years of supervised release and $2,000 in restitution. McEachern pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and was sentenced on Friday to nine years in prison and five years of supervised release.
Busbee pled guilty on May 3, 2022, to possession with intent to distribute several drugs. He was found guilty of several charges including kidnapping, a drug conspiracy and firearms on Sept. 2, 2022, after a three-day jury trial.
“It is heartbreaking to know the violence the victims suffered at the hands of Yomere Juan Busbee. We hope this federal prison sentence provides some sense of comfort,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert M. DeWitt. “The FBI is committed to holding offenders accountable for the violent crimes they commit.”
Busbee was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fayetteville Police Department investigated the case and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Blondel and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan M. Stephany prosecuted the case.