Fourth suspect arrested in Forest City drug bust
The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office located and arrested Jamison Darren Jones, aka "Dog," 47, of Third Street in Forest City, on Wednesday evening on warrants including conspiracy to distribute cocaine, two counts distribution of cocaine and possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Jones is the fourth suspect arrested in connection with Wednesday's drug bust in Forest City.
On Wednesday morning, the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office and the Forest City Police Department assisted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) in the execution of search warrants at three separate homes and the arrest of three residents of Forest City on federal indictments.
The arrests were due to a long-term investigation initiated by the Sheriff's Office in late 2012.
"Three separate SWAT teams served the warrants at the three houses simultaneously, to ensure officer protection and so that the suspects weren't able to contact anybody," said Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis.
With the assistance of the Forest City Police Department, ATF, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, the investigation resulted in the seizure of more than two pounds of crack cocaine and several firearms.
Jones was taken to the Rutherford County Detention Facility where he and his three co-defendants were incarcerated as of Wednesday morning.
The first individual arrested was Elijah Thaddeus Edgerton, 25, of Hamilton Street in Forest City. Edgerton was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and three counts distribution of cocaine.
The second individual incarcerated was Tony Obryon Thompson, aka "Grip," 30, of Weathers Street in Forest City. Thompson was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, 11 counts distribution of cocaine, possession of a firearm by felon and possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
The final individual apprehended was Jacqueline Shanay Parks, 32, also of Weathers Street in Forest City. Parks was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, two counts distribution of cocaine and possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
All four subjects were held at the Detention Facility under a federal detainer, and were subsequently transported to Asheville to appear before a federal judge for their first court appearance and bond hearing.
"The reason why this is an important case is because it takes a certain amount of threshold to bring it to the federal level," Francis said. "There is a higher sentence level and stiffer penalty with federal cases and with federal prosecutions, which makes it so important when you have repeat offenders. I appreciate the cooperation and hard work of the agencies involved and it was certainly good to see them all be able to work successfully together."