Xpress investigating e-mails containing allegations about Ron Moore

Xpress has received several e-mails forwarded by hacker and writer Barrett Brown, purportedly from a local resident alleging Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore’s connection with drug trafficking, a claim Brown has also made.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, the Forbes magazine technology blog reported on a claim by Brown that Moore was cooperating with Mexican drug cartels. Sunday, in a public chat, Brown modified his claim, asserting Moore is involved with an American gang, the Houstones, and not with the Los Zetas Mexican cartel.

Brown has provided Xpress with e-mails, which he says come from an Asheville resident, claiming Moore is involved in drug trafficking. Based on their content, the e-mails appear to be from a local resident or someone very familiar with the Asheville area. Xpress is investigating the e-mails and their claims.

Moore, in a faxed statement to WLOS Sunday night, asserted that the allegations are “not true and it is the height of negligent and irresponsible journalism to promote this untrue and unverified gossip.”

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15 thoughts on “Xpress investigating e-mails containing allegations about Ron Moore

  1. Jon Elliston

    I hate to nitpick, but do you really mean that the e-mails “implicat[e] Moore in drug trafficking”? It sounds like they make allegations, or attempt to implicate him, but that doesn’t implicate him.

    • Jeff Fobes

      Good point, Jon. We’ve updated to the story to change the phrase “implicating Moore” to “claiming Moore is involved in drug trafficking.”

  2. Old Skool Journalist

    So, is this how Xpress practices journalism in the Twitter age? Accuse with a big dose of sensationalism (based on a blog quoting an avowed heroin junkie) and then start investigating? Way to go Jeff Fobes and SENIOR news reporter David Forbes. This is some quality journalism. Fact checking? Screw fact checking, a blogger for a big-time magazine made an accusation, totally unsupported by any facts or evidence, and you Twitter-Whores ran with it.

    And now, according to this headline, NOW you’re going to investigate. I’m no fan of Ron Moore, and I’m not defending him. But I think this is a great example of how Xpress has gone over to the dark side in its pursuit of breaking news and Twitter feeds — this so called revolutionary media model that you seem to worship at the expense of real investigative journalism. Cart, horse, … who cares which comes first, just be the first to get it online and watch those page hits rise. These rumors about Ron Moore have been circulating for years. Better journalists than young Mr. Forbes have looked into them, and none of them ever panned out.

    How is this any different than what TMZ does? Is it because our liberal brethren desperately want this story to be true? I hope you are ready to be taken to the wood shed on this.

    The war on drugs is a failure. The judicial system in this country is corrupted by financial incentive, some of it comes directly from the cartels and some of it comes from the syndicates that call themselves corporations or governments. Reporting the bigger story, however, takes time,guts, trust and credibility. Ron Moore might be dirty, and he might be clean. Chances are, we’ll never know because you just tipped him off without bothering to get your facts in place first. But you don’t care because it’s the sexy headline that drives traffic and beefs up your SEO on Google. There was a time when Xpress would back up accusations with a 3,000 word, rock-solid story. I pine for those days. And chances are, you and most of your audience won’t read this because I’ve exceeded 140 characters.

    • bill smith

      “There was a time when Xpress would back up accusations with a 3,000 word, rock-solid story. ”

      no there wasnt.

  3. Bert

    Moore is absolutely innocent until proven guilty. But it would be awesome if the Xpress uncovered some pay dirt on this. I actually voted for his Republican opponent in the last election, and I know several other Left leaning people who did the same. Many of Don Yelton’s conspiracy theories are unfounded, but wouldn’t it be something if he’s been right about Moore all along?

  4. glolady

    OH spare me…. ask any drug dealer in town who’s the biggest drug dealer in Asheville and they will all tell you… RON MOORE….. do your research… no man is infallible!

    • bill smith

      Yes. Because the hearsay of ‘drug dealers’ in Asheville always holds up so well in court. Maybe they could get a ouija board to testify?

  5. Would be more meaningful if you would publish the e-mails, with attribution.

    I know during my years at Xpress we got weekly allegations about Ron Moore.

    The revelation that Brown’s source was here in Buncombe completely deflates any credibility that his claims of connection to Anonymous might have afforded him.

  6. Ascend (of Asheville)

    Why don’t you guys just print the emails as is, and let the issue develop or dissipate based on the contents? Why this sleuthy drama?

  7. bill smith

    Wait, so now the emails don’t ‘prove’ anything, but merely allege??

    This sure smells like backfire.

  8. Don Talley

    I’m a firm believer in “innocent until proven guilty in a court of law”. But that doesn’t mean the story isn’t newsworthy. When the story was included by a blogger for FORBES on-line magazine it became newsworthy. The Mx article simply brings to light a story that is being covered in other news media. I too wish we could return to the old days of journalism when no stories were ever printed without hard proof…..wait…did those days ever exist. The phrase “unconfirmed sources have claimed such and such” has been part of journalism for a long long time. The speed of media and the 24 hr news cycle has exacerbated the problem but the problem has been around for a while. I for one am glad to see MX researching stories in the national news which pertain to Asheville.

  9. lance

    “Xpress is investigating the e-mails and their claims.”

    surely someone at Xpress has a comment after 3 days

    • Jeff Fobes

      Lance: Sorry for the delayed response. David Forbes is handling this investigation, and he’s been on vacation, hence the quiet on this front.

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