RALEIGH – Three Sampson men are facing time in federal prison for their involvement in a drug trafficking organization that distributed “significant quantities” of meth, heroin, cocaine and “molly,” known also as MDMA or ecstasy.
Antonio Kevin McKoy, 31, of Garland; Tony Chevallier, 39, of Turkey; and Jabarr Ryeheine Rudolph, 38, of Clinton; were convicted in federal court following a seven-day jury trial before Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III.
Evidence presented at trial detailed a significant drug trafficking organization (DTO) that was built and led by McKoy. The three convictions were announced in a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Robert J. Higdon Jr.
The jury found all three men guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute significant quantities of multiple controlled substances, including methamphetamine, heroin, crack cocaine and cocaine and molly. Additional convictions were sustained for the distribution of various controlled substances and multiple firearms-related charges.
It was not immediately known when sentencing would take place. The charges, now convictions, against the men stem from an investigation that began in 2013.
“Multiple and extensive investigative techniques were utilized throughout this case,” Higdon’s prepared statement noted.
The DTO led by McKoy maintained contacts with individuals throughout the Southeastern United States, who supplied the drugs sold primarily within Eastern North Carolina. In addition to trafficking drugs, the organization maintained a “sophisticated apparatus” that was used to launder the proceeds derived from drug sales.
The evidence presented at trial showed a trucking company that McKoy started in early 2016 was used to conceal the money collected in the drug business.
The case is a federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) criminal matter being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, Internal Revenue Service- Criminal Investigation unit, U.S. Probation Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the North Carolina Departments of Revenue and Emergency Management.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brad Knott and Toby Lathan prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, McKoy has several felony convictions, all-drug-related, from 2010-12. He served time in prison from 2012-13. Rudolph served 12 years in prison, from 2001-13, for second degree murder. He had convictions of larceny and trespassing prior to that.
Chevallier has a number of convictions on his record, including various assault and drug-related crimes, including drug trafficking, and multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon and assault inflicting serious injury, court records show.
McKoy and Rudolph were each previously arrested as part of large campaigns in Sampson County that targeted drug activity.
In September 2016, a yearlong, multi-agency operation that saw 11 pounds of cocaine and several firearms seized resulted in federal charges of narcotics conspiracy against five “major players” in Sampson County, McKoy being one of them. A day later, nine others were arrested, with dozens of warrants served in all.
Also a OCDETF criminal matter, that probe targeted “a violent multi-defendant drug trafficking organization” and involved a laundry list of county, state and federal agencies, many of the same players involved in the recent case. They included the Sampson Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District and ATF, among others.
Even before that 2016 operation, a Sheriff’s Special Investigations Division campaign at the end of 2015 netted arrests on both McKoy and Rudolph. Called “Operation Dirty South,” it was launched as an answer to drug complaints in southern Sampson and closed in on street-level drug sales of marijuana, cocaine, meth and opiates.
As part of “Dirty South,” McKoy was charged with trafficking cocaine, maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for a controlled substance, possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and selling and delivering cocaine. Rudolph was charged with selling and delivering heroin and possession of heroin.
Bonds for McKoy and Rudolph were set at $150,000 and $70,000, respectively, for those offenses at the time.