WILMINGTON — A 24-year-old Wilmington man was sentenced in federal court to 30 years in prison Wednesday. Kejuan Smith was convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
An investigation by federal and state law enforcement agencies revealed Smith was a leader of the Nine Trey Gangsters, a Wilmington-based subset of the United Blood Nation street gang.
During the months of July and August of 2016, law enforcement conducted a federal Title III wiretap on a cell phone used by Smith.
Smith was intercepted communicating with subordinate gang members on a daily basis, organizing heroin distribution and gang-related crimes.
On Aug. 4, 2016, Smith stockpiled firearms and ammunition at a Wilmington residence in anticipation of traveling to Goldsboro the following day with subordinate gang members for the purpose of carrying out a hit on a rival gang member.
That evening, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the residence, resulting in the seizure of 13 firearms, assorted ammunition, and a military-grade ballistic vest.
Multiple co-defendants were charged and have already been sentenced in federal court in connection with this prosecution:
- Khalil Djour Truesdale was convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin and sentenced to 78 months imprisonment.
- Theodore Pierce was convicted of heroin distribution and firearms offenses and sentenced to 102 months imprisonment.
- Theodore Hardy was convicted of heroin distribution and sentenced to 84 months imprisonment.
- Daenzal Murphy was convicted of heroin distribution and sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.
- Alicia Rashawn Johnson was convicted of heroin distribution and sentenced to 13 months imprisonment.
- Darrell Tykwan Atkinson was convicted of heroin distribution and sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.
Co-defendants Takeem Leinard Collins and Kashif Arde Rhodes have entered guilty pleas and will be sentenced at a later date.
This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation investigating narcotics distribution and gang activity.