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8 sentenced in Rowan drug operation

GREENSBORO -- Eight people have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a crack cocaine operation in western Rowan and southwest Davie counties, federal prosecutors say.

According to U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand, the drug ring operated between June 2007 and November 2010, conducting open-air crack cocaine sales in two locations, known as “Wilson Town” (southwest Davie County) and “The Country” (westgern Rowan).

Prosecutors said buyers would be directed to one location or the other, based on the availability of crack and on police presence in the area.

“Our success in fighting this brazen drug trafficking organization is a direct result of our close partnerships with state and local law enforcement,” Rand said.

Federal officials said the sheriff’s offices in Rowan and Davie counties, along with the SBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms joined in the investigation and arrests.

Prosecutors identify those sentenced as:

Corey Dewayne Kerr, 38, Cleveland, N.C. He was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. At the time of his guilty plea, Kerr was serving time on a state conviction of cocaine sales.

Tavis Labron Houpe, 38, Cleveland. Sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison and five years of supervised release.

Alphonso Lee Keaton, 40, Cleveland. Sentenced to 7 years 3 months in prison and five years’ supervised release.

Michael Anthony Keaton, 29, Clemmons. Sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison and five years’ supervised release.

Ricardo John Lipscomb, 30, Spencer. Sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years’ supervised release.

Carlos Antwonne Redmond, 30, Mocksville. Sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison and five years’ supervised release.

Derrick Lamont Wilson, 37, Salisbury. Sentenced to 14 years 3 months in prison and 10 years’ supervised release.

Tracy Lavender Wilson, 41, Salisbury. Sentenced to 8 years 4 months in prison and four years’ supervised release.

A ninth suspect, Zenobia Ruben Jackson, died before sentencing, prosecutors say.

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