GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A Rocky Mount gang leader and a woman from Wendell were among those indicted on federal drug and fraud charges, according to a Wednesday news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Tyrone Foreman, 33, also known as “Ty Nitty,” is believed to be the leader of a set of the United Blood Nation. He was part of a heroin and fentanyl distribution ring in Nash and Edgecombe counties, federal officials said.
Authorities at the local, state, and federal levels spent three years investigating Foreman and his organization, including narcotics distribution and “several gang-related shootings in Rocky Mount,” the release said.
Investigators identified a man from New York City who was supplying Foreman with heroin and fentanyl mixtures for distribution in Rocky Mount. On Dec. 11, 2020, during a trip from New York to Rocky Mount, Foreman was stopped by authorities in Maryland for not wearing a seat belt. More than 3,500 bags of a heroin and fentanyl mixture were found in his car, the complaint said.
Vernisha Marie Suggs, 34, of Rocky Mount, was charged along with Foreman with narcotics-related violations. The complaint also said Foreman and two others conspired to commit wire and fail fraud in relation to federal unemployment benefits offered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the indictment, Foreman, along with 39-year-old Undia Fenne Sharpe, of Rocky Mount, and 36-year-old Minnie Marie Edwards, of Wendell, fraudulently filed claims using the information of people who were incarcerated in state and federal prisons. They then distributed the unemployment benefits amongst themselves and other co-conspirators.
Foreman was charged with:
- 1 count of conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 1,000 grams or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and a quantity of marijuana
- 1 count of possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl
- 1 count of possession with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana
- 1 count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud
If convicted, Foreman could face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of a life sentence, the release said.
Suggs was charged with one count of conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 1,000 grams or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and a quantity of marijuana.
If convicted, Suggs faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Sharpe was charged with one count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. If convicted, Sharpe faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Edwards was charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base (crack) and one count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. If convicted, Edwards faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.