News and Press Releases


TUESDAY - January 24, 2012


WILMINGTON - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court on January 18, 2012 Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox sentenced DUSTIN BRANDON ELLINGTON, 21, to 262 months imprisonment followed by five years supervised release.

On April 13, 2011, a Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment charging ELLINGTON. On June 6, 2011, ELLINGTON pled guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base (crack).

The investigation revealed that ELLINGTON was responsible for trafficking more than 12 kilograms of crack cocaine and 2 kilograms of powder cocaine. Also between August 14, 2008, and March 18, 2011, nine controlled purchases were performed while ELLINGTON sold, or directed another person to sell, crack cocaine. At the time of his arrest, the Oxford Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration performed a search of ELLINGTON’s residence in which a quantity of crack and powder cocaine was found as well as more than $16,000 in United States currency.

This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation entitled Grapevine, investigating importers and multi-level distributors of cocaine and crack cocaine. Sixteen defendants have been sentenced in federal court as a part of this investigation to date.

The investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Oxford Police Department, the Henderson Police Department, and the Petersburg, Virginia, 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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