News and Press Releases


WEDNESDAY - June 15, 2011


GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on June 14, 2011, DERRICK KEITH USSERY, SR., 44, of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, was sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard to 262 months in federal prison for distribution and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and aiding and abetting that crime. USSERY has been in federal custody since his arrest on March 2, 2010. He pled guilty to the charge on February 24, 2011. He has previously been convicted of ten (10) prior felony drug convictions for drug activity in 1990, 1991, and 2001.

Mr. Holding commented, “I applaud the work of investigators assigned to this OCDETF case. These types of drug trafficking organizations often engage in the wholesale distribution of a wide range of illegal drugs and related products. Often times they protect their trade with firearms. Certainly that was the case here. The sentence imposed by the Court furthers our ongoing effort to dismantle drug organizations operating in our district. In addition, the sentence reflects the recidivist nature of the defendant in ten prior occurrences in which the courts of this state have had to deal with his criminal activity. Finally, we have some assurance his drug trafficking days are over.”

USSERY, his son, Derrick Keith Ussery, Jr., andAlston Parker, were arrested on federal drug charges on March 2, 2010, after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) executed a federal search warrant at the home where USSERY, and his son resided. Inside the residence, law enforcement officers located and seized marijuana, cell phones, ammunition, $2,205.00 in U.S. currency, corners of plastic baggies, and cocaine. Law enforcement also located a bag of powder cocaine in the dog house at the residence.

On December 29, 2008, a confidential source of information operating under the direction of law enforcement made a controlled purchase of approximately fifty-eight (58) grams of cocaine base (crack) at the residence. According to investigators, the drug purchase was arranged by telephone calls with USSERY. The controlled purchase is supported by video recording. According to investigators, during the controlled purchase, the confidential source of information observed the three previously named defendants and several other individuals inside the residence. The confidential source of information observed cocaine being cooked into cocaine base (crack) and many of the individuals smoking marijuana.

Ussery, Jr. was sentenced by Judge Howard on March 8, 2011 to 60 months imprisonment and five years supervised release. He pleaded guilty on June 8, 2010, to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack), a quantity of cocaine. Parker has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack), 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, and a quantity of marijuana. Parker is awaiting sentencing.

During the execution of prior state search warrants at the residence, law enforcement located and seized marijuana, cocaine, cocaine base (crack), numerous firearms, and large amounts of cash. On one occasion, law enforcement located and seized $23,868 in cash from the residence. This case is part of Operation Burnout, which has been an ongoing investigation of numerous drug traffickers in and around Halifax County and Nash County. To date, 35 drug dealers have convicted as a part of this operation. Investigation of this case was conducted by the ATF, Roanoke Rapids Police Department, and the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Josh Royster and Glenn Perry served as the prosecutors for the government.


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