FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - August 16, 2010
WILMINGTON MAN SENTENCED FOR HEROIN DISTRIBUTION
GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced THEODORE LETSOU, 45, Wilmington, North Carolina, to 175 months’ imprisonment.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on September 24, 2009. On May 4, 2010, LETSOU pled guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of one kilogram or more of heroin, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924.
On July 24, 2009, after conducting surveillance, members of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Wilmington Police Department initiated a traffic stop on LETSOU’s vehicle in Wilmington, North Carolina. LETSOU and another person were traveling from New York to Wilmington to deliver heroin. Agents found 939 bags of heroin hidden in the headliner of Letsou’s car. The agent then performed a search of LETSOU’s home and found an SKS rifle and 92 rounds of ammunition.
The investigation revealed that LETSOU was responsible for distributing more than 63,000 dosage units of heroin into Eastern North Carolina from 2007 until the time of his arrest.
This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation entitled Monarch, investigating importers and multi-level distributors of cocaine crack cocaine, and heroin. To date, 15 defendants have been sentenced in federal court, including Arjun Bell who received 400 months, Christopher Gauge - 240 months, Lee Braggs - 254 months.The investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the Federal Bureau of Investigations; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations; and the Wilmington Police Department. 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.