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Nine arrested in crack cocaine case

Nine of 10 Charlotte area men named in a federal criminal indictment were arrested Thursday on drug conspiracy charges, U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said.

The indictment, returned by a Charlotte grand jury on Tuesday, was unsealed Thursday after the early morning round-up.

Since 2002, the indictment says, the defendants conspired to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine in Gaston and Mecklenburg counties. Each is charged with one count of drug conspiracy.

Those arrested are:

Derwin “Red” Durham, 56, James Michael “Big Cheese” Barber, 41, Thomas Monteres Burris, 33, Larry Donnell Erby Jr., 34, Mario Demond Floyd, 33, Tony Lamar Floyd, 45, and Lance Richardson Pagan, 43, all of Gastonia; Carroll Macarthur Williams, Jr., 34, of Kings Mountain, and Torben Lamont Jackson, 33, of Charlotte.

James Russell “Rusty” Coulter, 34, of Gastonia remains a fugitive.

Those arrested made their initial appearances Thursday in federal court in Charlotte before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer. Their detention hearings are scheduled for Sept. 24 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keesler.

While executing the arrest warrants and search warrants, authorities seized three firearms, about $67,000 in cash, two motorcycles, three vehicles, bullets, drugs and drug making paraphernalia, Tompkins said.

The conspiracy charge against Durham and Barber carries a statutory mandatory life sentence and $20 million fine, Tompkins said. The conspiracy charge against Pagan and Jackson carries a statutory minimum term of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison and a $20 million fine.

The conspiracy charge against the remaining defendants carries a statutory minimum term of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine.

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