MAXTON — A clan chief of the Tuscarora Indian Nation is among six people arrested this week after federal and local law enforcement officers conducted raids targeting a drug trafficking organization that brought large quantities of cocaine and marijuana into neighboring Robeson County.
Mitchell Locklear is the Tuscarora Indian Nation Beaver Clan chief and has been characterized in affidavits from the FBI as the leader in drug distribution. The tribe is based in Maxton.
“Mitchell controls a drug trafficking organization,” an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court reads in part.
Mitchell Locklear, 54; his son, Christopher Locklear, 34; Timmy Lloyd Hunt, 42; Torrey Locklear, 37; Kevin Dwayne Revels, 35; all of Maxton, and 30-year-old Kevin Clark, of Rowland, were each charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine. Torrey Locklear and Clark also were each charged with oxycodone distribution, and Revels also was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Robeson County sheriff’s deputies seized 68 firearms during the raids, according to court documents and the Department of Justice.
One FBI agent wrote in an affidavit that Mitchell Locklear was the North Carolina point man for an organization that has ties to Texas, Louisiana and Mexico.
According to court documents, the organization has dealt hundreds of kilograms of marijuana and dozens of kilograms of cocaine since the FBI began its investigation in April 2015. The FBI used undercover informants and tapped cellphones used by the men arrested to infiltrate the organization. According to an FBI agent, two informants motivated by patriotism, deep roots in their community and a desire to remove “a known drug trafficker” from their neighborhood aided the investigation.
Federal agents observed the trafficking organization’s operations from several points near the Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina facility near Maxton, including on Tuscarora Nation Road, according to an affidavit.
Court documents indicate Mitchell Locklear led the organization; Torrey Locklear was in charge of storing and selling the narcotics; Hunt handled money from the sales; Christopher Locklear was a narcotics distributor; and Revels was a “lower level” dealer.
A seventh alleged conspirator is not mentioned by the Department of Justice in information provided to The Robesonian Thursday. Court records show Brandon Locklear is also charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, but has not been arrested. Brandon Locklear stored and sold drugs as an associate of Mitchell Locklear, according to affidavits.
Court documents detail tapped phone conversations between members of the drug operation during which they expressed concerns that that law enforcement was monitoring their activities and also talked about prices of quantities of cocaine and marijuana.
“Hey, I just passed that (expletive) back at the bridge. They’re back that way,” Brandon Locklear is heard telling Mitchell Locklear.
“You reckon they done bought something from someone over here, cuz?” Mitchell said.
In one conversation, Mitchell chastises one of his buyers for talking about prices over the phone.
“Boy, why you calling me talking to me like this on the phone?” Mitchell said, according to documents.
Court documents describe Mitchell attending cock fights and his associates threatening violence if dealers do not sell enough narcotics.
In February, phone conversations intercepted by the FBI led to Florence County Sheriff’s Office deputies arresting two men in South Carolina. They were in possession $158,034 in cash, which is believed was payment made by Mitchell for 5 kilograms of cocaine, according to court documents.
Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly