Federal authorities say a roundup has led to the arrest of eight men on a variety of drug, gun and robbery charges.
Most of those caught in the sweep -- a joint effort by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police -- were from Charlotte. And most of the arrests happened Tuesday and Wednesday.
Authorities say four of those arrested face federal charges, and the other four were apprehended for alleged state drug law offenses.
Those facing federal charges are Maurice Stuckey, 20; Ronald Centeno, 22; Arthur Thornton, 21; and Shaquan Howell, 23. All four are from Charlotte, and all but Howell made their initial federal court appearances Tuesday. Howell was arrested Wednesday morning and appeared a short time later before a federal magistrate.
Lia Bantavani, of the U.S. Justice Department, says a fifth man, 28-year-old Deshawn Lewis, was arrested earlier this month and pleaded guilty Dec. 11 to federal firearms charges.
The four men arrested on state drug charges were identified as Milton Collins, 27, of Charlotte; George Martinez, 28, of New York; John Cunningham, also of New York; and Marchondray Wall, 39, of Charlotte. Wall was taken into custody Friday, and the others were arrested Tuesday.
Stuckey and Centeno each were charged with one count of attempted Hobbs Act robbery; one count of carjacking; and two counts of possession of a firearm during a violent crime. They face up to life in prison and fines of up to $1 million.
Thornton was charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana; and one count of possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime. He could be sentenced to up to life in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000 on the two charges.
Howell was charged with two counts each of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime. His maximum penalty is life in prison and a fine of $750,000.
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