Knox County District Attorney General - Charme P. Allen

Heroin Traffickers Convicted of Conspiracy

Posted: 04/11/2017

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s Felony Drug Unit obtained convictions against the ringleaders of a heroin distribution conspiracy that sold large amounts of heroin and a combination of cocaine and fentanyl that was sold as heroin.  Kewayne Hersel Carter, 39, and Raphael Cortez Ferguson, 37, were convicted of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Sell Heroin in a Drug Free Zone.  Under the terms of the agreement, Carter and Ferguson must serve eight years in prison without the possibility of parole.  Carter’s sentence must run consecutive to a fifteen-year-sentence in Michigan.

In a plea hearing before Judge Bob McGee, Assistant District Attorney Sean McDermott explained to the Court that from October 2014 to April 2015, Carter, Ferguson, and other co-conspirators brought large amounts of heroin from Detroit, Michigan, to Knoxville.  Once in Knoxville, they would break down softball-sized amounts of heroin into individual points, or 0.1 grams, for resale by folding them into cut portions of lottery playslips.  Knoxville Police Department Investigator Phil Jinks and other members of the police department dismantled the group by making controlled purchases of heroin from some of the conspirators, conducting surveillance at various locations throughout the city, and interviewing witnesses who both bought and sold heroin for the group.  At one point during the conspiracy, the substance being trafficked changed from heroin to a combination of cocaine and fentanyl.  Fentanyl is a strong and dangerous opiate, up to fifty times stronger than heroin, that would give the end user the effect of ingesting heroin.

“We continue to see individuals trafficking and purchasing what they believe to be heroin, but what actually contains some combination of fentanyl or its analogues,” said DA Charme Allen.  “This creates a very dangerous situation for an addict who cannot tell the potency of the substance they are ingesting until it is too late.”

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or sean.mcdermott@knoxcounty.org.  For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at www.knoxcounty.org/dag and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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