News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WEDNESDAY - May 6, 2009

OPERATION DON QUIXOTE DEFENDANT RECEIVES 25-YEAR PRISON TERM

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced MARCELLUS JAMES FENNELL, JR., 24, of New Hanover County, North Carolina, to 300 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on July 20, 2008. On December 16, 2008, FENNELL pled guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack).

Between July 25, 2007, and August 10, 2007, FENNELL sold 87 grams of cocaine base to an agent of the government in New Hanover County. During the course of the investigation it was discovered that FENNELL was responsible for distribution of more than 10 kilograms of crack cocaine into Eastern North Carolina. FENNELL was also found to have possessed a firearm and been a member of a gang.

This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF)operation entitled Don Quixote, investigating importers and distributors of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin being imported into Eastern North Carolina. This organization has been responsible for the importation and distribution of more than 200 kilograms of cocaine, 45 kilograms of crack cocaine and 1 kilogram of heroin into Eastern North Carolina since 2003.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Division, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; and the Wilmington Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo served as prosecutor for the government. Mr. Severo is a prosecutor with the New Hanover District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Ben David has assigned him to the United States Attorney’s office to prosecute federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force criminal matters. This has been made possible by a grant funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission and the New Hanover County Commissioners.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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