News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

FRIDAY - AUGUST 21, 2009

WILMINGTON TEEN SENTENCED FOR DRUG AND GUN CHARGES

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced MARCUS TYRON BERRY, 19, of Wilmington, North Carolina, to two 120-month concurrent prison terms followed by five years supervised release.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on October 8, 2008. On February 23, 2009, BERRY pled guilty to Count 1 of the Indictment, conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base (crack) and a quantity of heroin and Count 2, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

On March 25, 2008, officers with the Wilmington Police Department stopped a car in which BERRY was a passenger for a traffic violation. During the routine investigation, BERRY was found to be in possession of a loaded 9mm Ruger handgun. The investigation uncovered that from July, 2005, until the time of his arrest, BERRY had distributed more than 2,000 grams of heroin and 84 ounces of crack cocaine. According to the Wilmington Federal Bureau of Investigation’S Safe Streets Task Force, BERRY is a validated gang member.

Mr. Holding commented, “This case is an example of the great work our office is able to do by partnering with local law enforcement and District Attorneys’ offices.”

This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation entitle, Don Quixote, investigating importers and multi-level distributors of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin and gang activity associated with it. This organization is responsible for the importation and distribution of more than 200 kilograms of cocaine, more than 50 kilograms of crack, 3 kilograms of heroin and 20,000 Ecstacy pills in Eastern North Carolina since 2003. To date, 15 people have been sentenced in federal court as a part of this operation.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force - Wilmington; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; the Wilmington Police Department; the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department; the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department; the Duplin County Sheriff’s Department; the Pender County Sheriff’s Department; the Holly Ridge Police Department; the Top Sail Police Department; and the Surf City Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo represented 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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