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North Carolina Drug Ring Dismantled:One-time major suppliers of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in North Carolina’s Triangle region will be spending decades behind bars, thanks to local, state, and federal law enforcement partners determined to stop violent gangs that profit from narcotics trafficking.

A federal judge in December sentenced the ringleaders in the case, Maurio Mitchell and Mark Daye, to prison terms of 35 years and 30 years, respectively. In all, nine members of what was known as the Maurio Mitchell Drug Trafficking Organization, dismantled in 2016, received a combined total of 119 years in prison.

“Mitchell was the architect of the organization, and Daye provided the source of supply,” said Special Agent Steve Jessup, an investigator on the case from the FBI’s Charlotte Division and a member of the FBI-led Raleigh-Durham Safe Streets Task Force.

Daye had a cartel connection in California that supplied the drugs, and Mitchell was affiliated with members of the United Blood Nation’s Omega Line, a violent street gang operating within the Raleigh-Durham area known as the Triangle. That partnership resulted in the distribution of significant quantities of illegal drugs—and violent acts that stemmed from those crimes.

“For the past five years, factions of the same Bloods gang have been fighting amongst themselves, largely over the drug trade,” said Tim Thomas, a Durham Police Department detective and task force member.

The culture of violence is so strong among rival gang factions that many have their own rap musicians who post music videos on social media platforms to intimidate and threaten their enemies. These “dis videos”—where targets were disrespected on social media—often resulted in violent encounters, Thomas said. “They were more about sending a message than music.”

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North Carolina Drug Ring Dismantled:One-time major suppliers of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in North Carolina’s Triangle region will be spending decades behind bars, thanks to local, state, and federal law enforcement partners determined to stop violent gangs that profit from narcotics trafficking.