RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Rocky Mount woman who helped gang members buy guns and distribute fentanyl and heroin in multiple counties will spend nearly six years in prison.

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The U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday that Vernisha Suggs, 35, received her 71-month sentence Wednesday from U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. She pleaded guilty in February to charges of conspiring to distribute heroin and fentanyl and conspiring to make false statements during the purchase of firearms.

According to court documents and other evidence presented by prosecutors, Suggs from 2018-20 bought numerous guns for Bloods gang members from licensed firearms dealers in Rocky Mount, signing paperwork saying the weapons were for her own use before handing them to gang members. 

One of those guns was used in a gang-related shootout in 2019 and others were recovered from Bloods members during traffic stops or the execution of search warrants, prosecutors said.

Suggs also helped gang members distribute the two drugs in Nash and Edgecombe counties, allowing her home to be used for out-of-state drug suppliers to bring their fentanyl and heroin mixtures and providing a rental car that was used to bring a mixture of the two substances from New York to Rocky Mount.