Undercover agents turn 800-pound marijuana shipment into sting operation in Charlotte

Nearly a half-ton of marijuana headed to Charlotte last month became bait in a federal sting that led to the arrest of two area men.

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According to federal court records unsealed this week, Ramond Deforrest Boyd and Kareem Laurence Gary were indicted on charges of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy.

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The substance: 800 pounds of marijuana to be shipped from El Paso, Texas, to Charlotte for resale.

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Richard Russell, a special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said in a court filing this month that federal agents seized the marijuana in west Texas after getting a tip on the shipment. But agents brought it to Charlotte last month to help catch those who wanted to sell it locally.

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On Sept. 27, Russell said, undercover agents in Charlotte began negotiating with their targets.

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On Oct. 1, the details of the sting were arranged. The marijuana would change hands in the Wal-Mart parking lot on North Tryon Street. An undercover agent was told to look for a Range Rover.

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That afternoon, a black Range Rover with the tag “Groomers,” entered the lot. Court documents say the car was registered to Boyd, a Matthews resident who, according to state records, owned Groomer’s Barber Shop on Brookshire Boulevard. A key had been left under the driver’s side floor mat of the Range Rover.

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A federal agent drove the SUV to another location and loaded it with 16 bales of pot. He then returned the car to the parking lot.

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Just before 6 p.m., another car drove up and dropped off a man, who got into the Range Rover, according to documents. The vehicles drove away together and agents followed them to a garage on Finn Lane in Charlotte. There, they say, they found two men unloading the marijuana.

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“You caught me red-handed,” Boyd said, according to court records.

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According to Russell, Boyd said he sold marijuana around the city, telling the agents that his barber business had dwindled and he had fallen into debt.

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According to court records, Gary told agents he makes about $500 a week distributing marijuana locally. He told officers that he agreed to help Boyd after he had asked him if he could store some marijuana in his garage.

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Gary also said the amount of pot turned out to be much larger than Boyd first described.

Source: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/10/16/4393005/undercover-agents-turn-800-pound.html#storylink=cpy

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