RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Rocky Mount gang leader will spend 30 years in prison for trafficking roughly 75,000 doses of heroin and a fentanyl mixture and for collecting more than $250,000 in phony COVID-19 unemployment benefits, federal prosecutors say.

The U.S. Department of Justice says 35-year-old Tyrone Foreman, also known as “Ty Nitty,” was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. 

Tyrone Foreman, also known as “Ty Nitty,” in a photo from the U.S. Department of Justice

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl and marijuana and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and must pay more than $220,000 in restitution.

He was one of 17 people convicted as part of Operation Caught Cold, with prosecutors saying Foreman was personally responsible for trafficking more than 14,000 doses of a fentanyl mixture and nearly 61,000 doses of heroin.

Prosecutors say the investigation showed Foreman — the leader of the G-Shine Bloods gang, part of the United Blood Nation — obtained thousands of dosage units of mixtures containing heroin and fentanyl from suppliers that spanned from Wake Forest to New York, then distributed them throughout Nash and Edgecombe counties by lower-ranking gang members and other dealers working for him.

Prosecutors say Nash County Sheriff’s Office investigators busted him with 2,000 of those dosage units in October 2019 after he met with a drug supplier in Wake Forest.

Tyrone Foreman

They say Foreman was busted with more than 3,500 dosage units of the drug mixture during a December 2020 traffic stop on Interstate 95 in Maryland after he met with the New York supplier.

After that arrest, prosecutors say he was calling women in North Carolina from jail to direct them to handle money for him. Authorities said they were collecting thousands of dollars of COVID-19-related unemployment benefits from phony claims they filed using other people’s personal information — including some who were ineligible because they were in prison.

At least 26 false claims were filed, and more than $250,000 in cash was handed out to his associates, prosecutors say.