News and Press Releases


TUESDAY - September 30, 2008


RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court here today United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced DAMONE KEY, 44, of Hertford, North Carolina, to 305 months’ imprisonment followed by five years supervised release.

A Criminal Information was filed on April 24, 2008, charging conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack) and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On May 27, 2008, KEY pled guilty to the charge. On May 22, 2007, deputies with the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office investigated a robbery. Suspects were reported to have entered a nearby residence. Upon going to the residence, deputies were met by KEY. Both KEY and another individual were asked to step outside. The officers notice that the second individual set something aside before exiting the residence. The officers were given permission to enter the residence and discovered a loaded handgun, along with marijuana from where the second individual had been. A search warrant was obtained and executed and U.S. currency, multiple calibers of ammunition, along with marijuana, cocaine and cocaine base were seized.

The investigation further revealed that the handgun, a Hi-Point, Model JCP .40 caliber revolver, belonging to KEY, was purchased as protection because KEY had been previously robbed of cocaine. It was also learned that three to four months prior to the search, KEY had sold four to five kilograms of drugs.

KEY’s extensive criminal history includes two convictions of assault on a female, possession with intent to sell marijuana, simple possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, numerous convictions of possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine and possession with intent to sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, and possession of marijuana up to ½ ounce.

Mr. Holding commented: “Today’s sentencing gives us another stark example of an armed drug trafficker who learned nothing from his previous interactions with the criminal justice system. Time and time again this defendant appears before state judges to be sentenced. And yet he never decided to end his life of crime. Thus, in May of last year, law enforcement officers, when investigating another crime, again found this defendant involved in armed drug trafficking. Today’s sentence effectively ends this defendant’s career of crime by imposing this substantial sentence.”

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Raleigh Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes served as prosecutor for the government.


News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at within 48 hours of release.

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