News and Press Releases

area drug dealers receive federal prison sentences

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2012

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker and District Attorney Scott Thomas announced today that several drug dealers from Craven and Pamlico Counties were sentenced in federal court this month.  Tinnius Remone BELL, 26, of New Bern, NC, Jamaille Devon MIDGETTE, 30, of Bayboro, NC, Lemal Demar HARPER, 29, of New Bern, NC, Reginald Frederick WATSON, 29, of Vanceboro, NC, and Wesley DAY, 37, of Vanceboro, NC, were each sentenced separately as a result of unrelated investigations carried out by agencies involved with the Coastal Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET).

United States Attorney Thomas Walker stated, “The convictions and sentences resulting from these investigations demonstrate what can be accomplished when law enforcement agencies from various areas work together.  Here, multiple drug dealers from a wide geographical area were taken off the street for a long time.  This will have a positive impact on countless citizens in the community and send a message that the law enforcement community in Eastern North Carolina is vigilant and that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”   

District Attorney Scott Thomas commented, “Each of these convicted drug dealers are well deserving of the prison sentences they have received.  Their conduct has resulted in the availability of large amounts of illegal drugs in our communities.  They are now out of the drug business and in prison.  Our goal is to identify, investigate and prosecute drug dealers in our area and these prison sentences prove we are being effective.  I appreciate the good work of the law enforcement officers and prosecutors who worked these cases.”

On November 3, 2012, BELL was sentenced to six years imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and a quantity of cocaine base (crack).  According to the investigation, an officer from the New Bern Police Department, acting undercover, purchased cocaine and cocaine base (crack) from BELL at his residence in the Pembroke area of New Bern on multiple occasions.  Further investigation revealed that BELL was part of a network responsible for the distribution of quantities of cocaine and cocaine base (crack) throughout Craven and Carteret Counties.

MIDGETTE was sentenced on the same date to 88 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release following his plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and two counts of distribution of a quantity of cocaine.  According to that investigation, agents from CNET teamed up with agents from the Greenville Regional Drug Task Force to utilize a confidential informant to purchase cocaine from MIDGETTE on two occasions.  Further investigation revealed that MIDGETTE was being supplied by dealers involved in the ongoing Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation No Quarter that has netted over 100 defendants in state and federal court and led to the seizure of approximately 127 kilos of cocaine, 41 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 160 pounds of marijuana and over one kilogram of heroin as well as 35 firearms since 2010.  The Greenville Regional Drug Task Force is made up of officers from the Farmville Police Department, Greenville Police Department, Pitt County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investiagtion.

Lemal Demar HARPER was sentenced on November 5, 2012, to 75 months imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute quantities of marijuana, MDMA (ecstasy) and Diphenoxylate and one count of possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  According to the investigation, on three occasions officers from the New Bern Police Department utilized a confidential informant to purchase marijuana from HARPER at his residence in New Bern.  Officers then obtained a search warrant for the residence.  Due to reports of firearms and a video camera system set up to display a live feed of the parking lot and stairwell near HARPER’s unit, officers devised a plan to take HARPER into custody outside the residence.  Officers arrested HARPER in the parking lot of his apartment complex and found him to be in possession of 7 individual packages of marijuana and a quantity of cash.  Upon executing the search warrant, officers seized over $2,300 in cash, 1.8 kilograms of marijuana, ecstasy tablets, pills containing Diphenoxylate Hydrochloride and two handguns.

Reginald Frederick WATSON was sentenced on November 7, 2012, to 141 months imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack), a quantity of cocaine, a quantity of heroin and a quantity of marijuana.

According to the investigation, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office utilized a confidential informant to purchase cocaine base (crack), heroin, and marijuana from WATSON in Vanceboro, NC.  Additionally, in an unrelated event, WATSON was stopped for speeding in South Carolina while traveling northbound on I-95 by a deputy from the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.  A K-9 unit on the scene alerted to WATSON’s vehicle and he was found to be in possession of over 249 grams of cocaine under the front seat of the vehicle. 

On November 14, 2012, Wesley DAY was sentenced to 151 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release after he pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and a quantity of cocaine base (crack) and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  According to the investigation, based on a tip, officers from the Craven County Sheriff’s Office set up surveillance on DAY’s residence in Vanceboro, NC.  After seeing DAY conduct what appeared to be a drug transaction and begin driving away in a vehicle, deputies performed a traffic stop for driving while license revoked and found DAY to be in possession of both cocaine and cocaine base (crack).  Upon searching DAY’s residence, deputies found additional amounts of cocaine and cocaine base (crack) as well as a 9mm pistol.

Investigation of these cases was furthered by the Coastal Narcotics Enforcement Team, a multi-agency task force comprised of agents from the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, Havelock Police Department, Jones County Sheriff’s Office, New Bern Police Department, Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office, River Bend Police Department, State Bureau of Investigation and Trent Woods Police Department.  Special Assistant United States Attorney Augustus Willis represented the government in each case.  Mr. Willis is a prosecutor with the District 3-B District Attorney’s Office encompassing Carteret, Craven and Pamlico Counties.  District Attorney Scott Thomas has assigned him to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force criminal matters.  Mr. Wills’ position is  funded through a grant provided by the Governor’s Crime Commission.

 

 

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