August 28, 2019 — Rudy Coles wants people to know he’s getting a raw deal.

The 63-year old Detroiter is being held in a North Carolina prison on drug charges, awaiting a second trial. Last December, Coles had a conviction for conspiracy to transport narcotics overturned by a state appeals court.

In 2013, Coles and several members of his family were indicted in Winston-Salem for trafficking heroin as part of the so-called Detroit Boys gang, a loosely affiliated group of Motown drug franchises set up across the Deep South. Authorities paint Rudy Coles as a kingpin in the press, despite little evidence to support that notion.

With no previous serious criminal record prior to his arrest six years ago, Rudy Coles insists he’s no drug boss.

“It was an election year, they needed someone to put this on and I was an easy target (because of my last name)……..the stories they’re telling, the rap they’re trying to lay on me is filled with lies and exaggerations,” Coles told Gangster Report in an exclusive phone interview from prison. “They say, ‘You’re a Detroit Boy, you’re with the Detroit Boys,’ I’m like, ‘Yes, I’m from Detroit, but I’m not a Detroit Boy.’ I’m not part of any of that.”

During an DEA investigation into the Detroit Boys in Winston-Salem, agents placed a tracking device on the SUV Coles drove for a trip from North Carolina to Michigan in the fall of 2013. The DEA had intercepted a phone conversation on the bugged cell phone of one of Coles’ relatives discussing his pending travel north. He was pulled over on his return to Winston-Salem on October 28, 2013 and police found 12 ounces of heroin hidden in the vehicle’s ceiling.

Coles is adamant he didn’t know the drugs were in the ceiling of the Ford Explorer that day. The jurors in his first trial didn’t necessarily think he did either.

The appellate court vacated Coles’ conviction in late 2018, ruling that Forsyth County Superior Court Judge L. Todd Burke failed to give the jury proper instructions at Coles’ trial. The higher court wrote in its opinion that Burke neglected to inform jurors that Coles needed to have knowledge of the heroin he was transporting in order for them to render a guilty verdict.

Starting in the 1980s Detroit Boys crews began sprouting up in places like Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. They were initially offshoots of Motor City drug gangs such as Young Boys, Inc. (YBI), the Sconey Oneys, the P.A. Boys and the Best Friends.

Coles served in the military in the 1970s and was stationed in Germany. He got his nursing degree and also ran a landscaping company. He admits having issues with substance abuse in the past, but denies ever profiting from drug sales.

“I’m not what they say I am, not even close,” Cole said. “The people who know me, the people who are around me every day, know I’m not a drug boss. Do I have a family that has some history in that type of stuff, yes, I do. But that’s not who I am, that’s not what I am about as a man. This is wrong, This is unfair.”

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