Elizabeth City Man Sentenced to More Than 21 Years for Drug Distribution and Firearm Charges
NEW BERN – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that Monday in federal court, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced JAMES MARVIN POOLE, 33, of Elizabeth City, to 262 months of imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release.
POOLE was named in a 4-Count Criminal Information filed on September 12, 2017. On that same day, POOLE pled guilty to 3-Counts of Distribution of a Quantity of Heroin and 1-Count of Possession and Brandishing of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.
In June 2016, a Confidential Informant (CI) advised law enforcement in Pasquotank County, that he/she had been buying heroin from POOLE for the past year. The CI also advised law enforcement that POOLE sold and/or stored drugs at two locations in Elizabeth City. The CI specifically identified an apartment on South Griffin Street and a house on College Street which were connected to POOLE.
On June 15, 2016, the CI, working at the direction of law enforcement, arranged to meet with POOLE at the residence on College Street to purchase heroin. The CI subsequently purchased 1 gram of heroin. During the recorded conversation, POOLE can be heard discussing his “pistol.”
On June 21, 2016, CI arranged a controlled purchase of heroin from POOLE. POOLE subsequently met with the CI at the residence on College Street. POOLE entered the CI’s vehicle while immediately pulling a semi-automatic pistol out of his waistband and placing it between the CI and POOLE. POOLE instructed the CI to claim the pistol as his/her own if they were stopped by the police because of his prior felony convictions. POOLE instructed the CI to drive to the South Griffin Street apartment. Once there, POOLE exited the vehicle and entered the apartment, returned to the vehicle, and instructed the CI to drive back to the College Street house. There, the CI purchased 2 grams of heroin from POOLE.
Following the two successful controlled purchases of heroin from POOLE, agents obtained a search warrant for the house and apartment associated with POOLE. On June 28, 2016, agents entered POOLE’s apartment. Officers proceeded to the second floor where POOLE was located exiting the bathroom with the toilet still flushing. A search of the apartment revealed a loaded Glock 9mm pistol with 15 rounds of ammunition. On March 6, 2017, agents utilized a second Confidential Informant (CI2) to perform an undercover buy from POOLE. CI2 met with POOLE and subsequently purchased .5 gram of heroin from POOLE.
On March 9, 2017, agents interviewed a cooperating witness who advised them that he/she had been purchasing 1 gram of heroin per day from POOLE for six months (180 grams of heroin). A second cooperating witness advised agents on March 8, 2017, that he/she had purchased at least .4 gram of heroin, five days per week, from POOLE for the past 18 months (144 grams of heroin). A third cooperating witness advised agents on March 29, 2017, that he/she purchased 120 grams of heroin from POOLE between February 2016 and January 2017.
On March 17, 2017, agents arrested POOLE on the federal charges. POOLE advised agents that he received ½ ounce at a time from his source. Based on the evidence, POOLE is responsible for the distribution of 447.5 grams of heroin. POOLE also possessed a firearm in connection with the offense.
The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI conducted the criminal investigation of this case. Assistant United States Attorney Bradford Knott handled the prosecution of this case for the government.