HOT-TOPIC_02Two Red Bank residents were among five New Jerseyans – all said to be members of a gang – who pleaded guilty ad were sentenced for heroin trafficking in North Carolina last week, according to a report by Star News Online.

From the Star News:

The group was arrested March 30, 2012, after a two-month Wilmington Police Department investigation that began with a tip from a confidential informant, according to the release. An investigation revealed that members of the United Blood Nation gang from New Jersey had contacted local members of the gang…

After conducting surveillance and buying 150 glassine bags of heroin from the group at the Days Inn motel on Market Street, officers executed a search warrant on the suspects’ rooms, seizing 2,718 bags of heroin.

Police arrested eight people at the motel, three of whom investigators later determined were not involved in the dealing.

Red Bank resident Tykeem Thomas pleaded to trafficking between 14 and 28 grams of opium or heroin and conspiring to traffic between 4 and 14 grams of heroin, the Star News reported, citing an announcement by New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David.

Thomas, 39, was sentenced to between 13 years and four months to 16 years and nine months in prison.

Leah Porter, also of Red Bank, pleaded guilty to trafficking more than 28 grams of heroin. Porter, 31, will return to New Jersey and serve five years of probation. If she violates that probation, though, she will be returned to North Carolina to serve a sentence of about 13 months.

Two Asbury Park men, including Thomas’ brother, Stephen Poole, 23, pleaded guilty, as did an Irvington man, according to the report. Poole was also known as Furman Brown, according to the article.