United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced Thursday that, Antoine Dewayne Myles a/k/a “Twan”, 42, of Dunn; Lemont Jerrone Webb, 44, of Godwin, and Harry Myles Sr. 63, also of Dunn, were sentenced by United States District Judge Terrance W. Boyle.
Antoine Myles was sentenced to life imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release. Webb was also sentenced to life imprisonment followed by 10 years of supervised release and Harry Myles Sr. was sentenced to 64 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release.
Webb and Harry Myles Sr. were convicted following a four-day trial on January 20, 2018. Webb was convicted of drug conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and several money laundering offenses. Harry Myles Sr. was found guilty of money laundering offenses. Antoine Myles was convicted on March 8, 2018, after a three-day trial, of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the Intent to Distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine, and money laundering conspiracy.
The evidence at trial showed that from 2011 until their arrest on June 5, 2015, Antoine Myles and his brother Lemont Webb were leaders in a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) responsible for the distribution of kilogram quantities of crack cocaine in Godwin, North Carolina. The evidence showed that Antoine Myles and Webb hired other people to work shifts selling crack cocaine from a trailer in Godwin, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
In October 2014, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office obtained an injunction against the trailer used to distribute the crack cocaine, but Myles and Webb continued their operation, selling crack cocaine from a Winnebago across the street from the original trailer.
The evidence at trial established that Harry Myles Sr., the father of Lemont Webb and Antoine Myles played an integral role in the operation of the DTO by allowing multiple properties used to store and distribute crack cocaine, to be placed in his name in order to conceal the true source of the illegal funds used to purchase the properties, and to frustrate law enforcement’s efforts to seize the properties.
Additionally, the trial evidence established that Harry Myles Sr. and Lemont Webb purchased tow trucks and started a towing business which was utilized to launder illegal drug proceeds. And Antoine Myles and Lemont Webb both purchased multiple vehicles with illegal drug proceeds and titled the vehicles in the names of other persons to frustrate any efforts by law enforcement to seize and forfeit the vehicles.
Fifteen other defendants have been convicted of various drug and money laundering charges arising from this investigation.
“Antoine Myles, his father Harry Myles, and Lemont Webb have finally been brought to justice,” Hidgon said in a statement. “For years they have victimized the small community of Godwin and turned it into a virtual open-air drug market. Collectively they distributed nearly 300 pounds of cocaine. As law enforcement tried to stop them, they thumbed their noses, adjusted their operation and carried on. Today, that stops! The sentences handed down in these cases are clear warnings to drug traffickers that we are Taking Back North Carolina from the drug dealers and violent criminals. And removing these defendants from Godwin, North Carolina is a great start.”
“Today, Justice is served and not only are criminals going to jail for their crimes, but the government has seized a significant portion of the illegal proceeds through asset forfeiture. The role of IRS-CI in narcotics investigations is to follow the money so we can financially disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations. One of the government’s most powerful weapons is the ability to seize through asset forfeiture the assets associated with narcotics-related crime,” said Matthew D. Line, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Charlotte Field Office. “IRS-CI is proud to provide its financial expertise as we work alongside our law enforcement partners to bring criminals to justice.”
Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West said, “He would like to thank the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and our Federal Law Enforcement partners for dismantling this Drug Trafficking Organization that was a blight on our community. The Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office looks forward to continuing to partner with our local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to combat drug traffickers in Cumberland County.”
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and the United States Marshal’s Service. Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence Cameron represented the government in this case.