News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

TUESDAY - February 21, 2012

WILMINGTON DRUG DISTRIBUTOR SENTENCED

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court on February 16, 2012, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III, sentenced RANDOLPH JAMES CAMPBELL, 28, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina to 192 months imprisonment followed by five years supervised release .

On July 6, 2010, a Criminal Information was filed charging CAMPBELL with possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and a quantity of marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846 and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(l). On August 2, 2010, CAMPBELL pled guilty to the charges.

According to the information presented at sentencing, CAMPBELL was part of a drug trafficking organization that was importing high quality marijuana in bulk amounts from Canada through New York to be distributed in various locations throughout North Carolina. They were transporting between 20 and 40 kilograms of marijuana in hockey bags.

CAMPBELL was responsible for distributing more than 300 kilograms of marijuana from late 2007 until August, 2010. The investigation also revealed that CAMPBELL took part in the distribution of more than 20 kilograms of cocaine. CAMPBELL also took part in the robbery of several drug dealers in order to acquire additional controlled substances.

On March 10, 2008, CAMPBELL and a co-conspirator were traveling in tandem in separate cars on the way to deliver currency from a previous shipment of marijuana that had been distributed in North Carolina. A North Carolina State Highway Patrolman attempted to stop the car being driven by a co-conspirator. The car contained more than $192,000. CAMPBELL swerved his vehicle at the trooper to distract him from stopping the car containing the drug proceeds. The trooper was able to avoid a collision with CAMPBELL’S car and continued to pursue the co-conspirator. Both cars took the trooper on a high speed chase on Interstate 95 in Johnston County. Both CAMPBELL and his co-conspirator were weaving in and out of traffic during the chase at a high rate of speed. Law enforcement was ultimately able to stop both cars and recovered the United States currency.

On May 23, 2008, CAMPBELL and three others were intercepted by the Broome County Sheriff’s deputies in two hotel rooms in Broome County, New York. The deputies found several empty hockey bags that had the odor of marijuana, a vacuum sealer (used to package money and/or controlled substances) and a money counting machine.

On February 17, 2009, CAMPBELL and three co-conspirators orchestrated a plan to obtain five pounds of marijuana from a source of marijuana in Charlotte, North Carolina. They indicated they would pay more than $25,000 for the marijuana. They planned to “rip-off” this dealer in part to repay someone who had previously posted a bond for CAMPBELL for a pending drug charge. CAMPBELL acted as an intermediary between the group that was in possession of the marijuana and his co-conspirators in the “rip-off”. CAMPBELL rode with two other people delivering the marijuana. They had two Tec 9 handguns with them to protect the marijuana. CAMPBELL convinced the sellers that the people in the other car had the money. CAMPBELL exchanged the marijuana for a package which contained a small quantity of money and the remaining portion was newspaper. This exchange occurred in a parking lot in Wilmington, North Carolina. A car chase ensued after the sellers discovered they had not been provided the full amount of money. During the chase CAMPBELL pretended that he was unaware of the “rip-off”. The car in which CAMPBELL was a passenger ultimately lost sight of the other vehicle and disengaged the pursuit. The other two people in this car have previously been convicted in federal court.

In the early morning hours of February 18, 2009, a Wilmington Police Officer attempted to perform a traffic stop of the vehicle in which contained the marijuana after he observed it in the area near South Kerr Avenue. The officer started following the car because it matched the description of a car from an unrelated criminal offense. The vehicle fled violating several traffic laws and took the officers on a high speed chase. During this pursuit one of the co-conspirators throw a Glock handgun out of the car.

The car stopped and officers approached the car but before the officers could question the occupants, the car accelerated and fled the area. The officers resumed the pursuit and radioed other officer for assistance. Wilmington Police Officer Richard Matthews was responding to this call for assistance from his fellow officers. Officer Matthews while responding to the area of the pursuit, lost control of his patrol car and was killed.

As the chase continued, persons inside of the car throw the marijuana out of the vehicle which was ultimately recovered by law enforcement. Law enforcement was ultimately able to stop the car and the three persons in this car were arrested.

This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug

Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation entitled Gingerbread Man,

investigating importers and distributors of high grade marijuana from Canada.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; and the Wilmington 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.

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