News and Press Releases


THURSDAY - July 15, 2010


GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday United States District Judge Howard J. Malcolm sentenced CHARLES RUDOLPH CLAY, III, 33, of Wilmington, North Carolina, to 192 months’ imprisonment followed by eight years supervised release. This sentence is consecutive to the 37 month imprisonment sentence that CLAY is serving for a violation of federal supervise release.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on January 28, 2010. On April 12, 2010, CLAY pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute 5 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and 500 grams or more of cocaine and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

On December 17, 2009, CLAY purchased a kilograms of cocaine from an agent of the government at a fast food restaurant in New Hanover County. CLAY was arrested by members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department. Law enforcement searched several vehicles and residences associated with CLAY and found an additional 282 grams of cocaine, 64 grams of crack cocaine, and a .22 caliber pistol. CLAY was on federal supervised release for possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base and felon in possession of a firearm at the time of these offenses.

This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation entitled Don Quixote, investigating importers and multi-level distributors of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy and gang activity associated with this distribution. This organization is responsible for the importation and distribution of more than 240 kilograms of cocaine, more than 70 kilograms of crack cocaine, 3 kilograms of heroin, 20,000 Ecstacy pills and several kilograms of marijuana into Eastern North Carolina since 2003. To date, 38 people have been sentenced in federal court as a part of this operation.

Investigation of this OCEDTF case is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigations Safe Streets Task Force (Wilmington); the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations; the Wilmington Police Department; the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office; the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office; the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office; the Pender County Sheriff’s Office; the Holly Ridge Police Department; the Top Sail Police Department and the Surf City Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo represents 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 within 48 hours of release.

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