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7 charged, 3 on the run after authorities seize 20 pounds of meth and $500,000

(TOP ROW; Left to Right) Jamie Leonard Tate, Leah Patience Davis, Gregory Adonis Rutherford, Randy “Big Country” Scott, Aretha Gilley Fullwood, (BOTTOM ROW; Left to right) Aretha Faye Giles, Karita Shanece “China” Bullock, Dwayne Bullock, Marqueseo Marshay “Pepe” Pearson, William Jackie Pearson (Photo credit: McDowell County Sheriff's Office)

What began as an investigation into a Nebo man’s drug activity has led local, regional, state and federal authorities to dozens of suspects in a massive narcotics conspiracy that spanned from McDowell County to California.

The case began in July 2016 with an investigation of activity at the 100 Stacy Farm Road residence of 36-year-old Jamie Leonard Tate.

A news release from the McDowell County Sheriff's Office said authorities determined that Tate and Dwayne Bullock, 35, of Newton, conspired with numerous people to traffic and distribute hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as lesser amounts of cocaine and heroin.

Authorities on Tuesday, April 18, began rounding up suspects, raiding areas simultaneously in McDowell, Burke and Catawba counties, locations believed to be used for storing and distributing narcotics.

Seized during the raids Tuesday were about 20 pounds of methamphetamine, an estimated $500,000 in cash, more than half a pound of marijuana, up to 4 ounces of fentanyl and other small amounts of pills, as well as firearms, cell phones and vehicles.

Those arrested Tuesday and their charges include the following:

  • Jamie Leonard Tate, 36, of 100 Stacy Farm Road, Nebo, six counts of trafficking methamphetamine, three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a Schedule II controlled substance and continuing a criminal enterprise. He is in the McDowell County jail under a $5 million bond.
  • Leah Patience Davis, 37, of 100 Stacy Farm Road, Nebo, six counts of trafficking methamphetamine, three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count of aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. She is in the McDowell County jail under a $1 million bond.
  • Gregory Adonis Rutherford, 25, of 4475 Shade Valley Drive and 3162 Ed Bowman St., both in Morganton, three counts each of trafficking methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a Schedule II controlled substance and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. He is in the McDowell County jail under a $1 million bond.
  • Randy “Big Country” Scott, 49, of 2041 U.S. 70 West, Apt. 2, Marion, six counts of trafficking methamphetamine, three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a Schedule II controlled substance and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. He is in the McDowell County jail under a $1 million bond.
  • Aretha Gilley Fullwood, 45, of 4186 Snow Hill Church Road in Morganton, three counts each of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic heroin and one count each of trafficking methamphetamine and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. She is in the McDowell County jail under a $500,000 bond.
  • Aretha Faye Giles, 55, of 100 17th St. West, Newton, three counts each of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic heroin and one count of aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. She is in the McDowell County jail under a $500,000 bond.
  • Karita Shanece “China” Bullock, 28, of 2999 Shangri La Drive, Conover, six counts of trafficking methamphetamine, three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count of aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. She is in the McDowell County jail under a $1 million bond.

Three suspects with warrants were unable to be located Tuesday are as follows:

  • Dwayne Bullock, 35, of 100 17th St. West, Newton, wanted on six counts of conspiracy to traffic heroin, three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count of continuing a criminal enterprise.
  • Marqueseo Marshay “Pepe” Pearson, 37, of 129 Stephens Drive, Morganton, wanted on three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a Schedule II controlled substance and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise.
  • William Jackie Pearson, 66, of 129 Stephens Drive, Morganton, wanted on three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a Schedule II controlled substance and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise.

The drug conspiracy investigation was a nine-month joint, multi-jurisdictional effort of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, Marion Police Department, the McDowell County District Attorney’s Office, the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, Morganton Department of Public Safety, Newton Police Department, the N.C. Highway Patrol, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Also providing aid at the scenes Tuesday were members of McDowell County Emergency Management, McDowell County EMS, Nebo Fire Department, N.C. Department of Revenue and N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement.

Additional arrests and charges are pending.

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Dwayne Bullock, Marqueseo Pearson or Jackie Pearson is asked to call the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 828-652-2235, the McDowell County 911 communications center at 828-652-4000 or McDowell County Crimestoppers at 828-65-CRIME (652-7463).

Tips can also be texted to Crimestoppers. Text MCDOWELLTIPS and your information to 274637 (CRIMES). With Crimestoppers, your identity remains anonymous, and you could receive a cash reward.

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