A Cumberland County man who prosecutors say ran a drug operation from a home daycare and other locations has been sentenced to 40 years in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina said during of a press conference Friday in Fayetteville.
Authorities said Reshod Everett, 36, led a heavily armed drug smuggling operation from a daycare center on Ronald Reagan Drive in Fayetteville as well as other locations, including an Addison Ridge apartment and a storage facility.
Drugs, several firearms and cash were seized from the state-licensed day care center, Tori’s Playhouse, where children were present during the day.
“There was a deadly and potentially dangerous mix of drugs, guns and cash in the same house where the children were kept,” U.S. Attorney Mike Easley said. “This drug dealer has put countless lives at risk with his operation.”
Easley said the investigation began in 2018 when a Fayetteville Police Department gang unit was reported to a ring that allegedly trafficked hundreds of pounds of marijuana.
“As the investigation would reveal, this case went way beyond marijuana,” Easley said. “Everett was a serious drug supplier in the Fayetteville area.”
Everett, his partner Alvin Davis and his wife, Victoria Everett, were arrested in 2018 after police found more than 100 pounds of marijuana, 346 grams of cocaine, nine firearms, drug wrappers and more than 70,000 $ in their personal vehicles, apartment, storage facility and home daycare, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Victoria Everett was the owner and operator of Tori’s Playhouse.
Weapons found at the daycare included handguns and loaded high-powered rifles. One of the guns had its safety in the firing position, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
“Just a little pull of that trigger would have fired that gun at the same house that the parents trusted as a daycare center to care for their children,” Easley said.
Easley said that as the investigation continues, the U.S. Attorney’s Office — in partnership with the Fayetteville Police Department, Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives and the IRS – gathered evidence and built cases against other defendants to whom Everett supplied drugs in order to obtain cooperation.
Testimony established that large amounts of drugs were being trafficked, including more than 56 kilos of cocaine and more than 17 kilos of marijuana dating back to 2016. Law enforcement searched cellphone records to determine drug trafficking locations and activities.
Easley said they also conducted a tax and financial investigation showing Everett lied about his income.
“Everett lived a lavish lifestyle,” said Easley, who added that Everett did not report income for 2018. “He had a 3,000 square foot home, three late-model vehicles, he took his family on vacation to California and the Caribbean, but his reported income for 2017 was negative $29,544.
“His lavish lifestyle was not earned, it was bought and paid for by the young men he dragged into his drug-trafficking plot and the evil he inflicted on the Fayetteville community. “
Easley said while state charges were pending, Everett used social media and the media to attack the Fayetteville Police Department and the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, claiming he was framed by the police and that evidence had been filed. These claims were investigated internally and found to be false, Easley said.
He also said Everett attempted to bribe and threaten witnesses and took to social media to present a deceptive campaign against law enforcement.
“I want to commend the Fayetteville Police Department and Chief Gina Hawkins and her leadership and their work in disrupting and busting drug dealers in Cumberland County,” Easley said. “Those who bring poison and violence to our communities. Even in the face of false accusations and character attacks, your officers remained committed. »
Hawkins said perseverance was the word of the day.
“It took our agents, our agency and our community a long time to find out the truth,” Hawkins said. “We are delighted to take these weapons off the streets. These drugs come out of our community. And to show you that we’re here for the long haul.”
ATF Special Agent in Charge Brian Mims said his agency worked closely with the police department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to close the case.
“The threat this topic posed to the community cannot be underestimated,” Mims said. “Large quantities of drugs and firearms, which were loaded and ready to be fired, were found in a business that served parents and children. It was a tragedy waiting to happen.
Mims said the partnership between the agencies has been instrumental in criminal convictions.
In May, a jury found Everett guilty of six felonies of drug trafficking and firearms offenses. In addition to the 40-year prison sentence, Everett was also ordered to pay $4 million from the proceeds of his illegal operation.
Her partner, Davis, had previously been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. Victoria Everett has not been charged in federal court, authorities said.