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Press Release

Fayetteville Man Sentenced for Trafficking Two Kilograms of Heroin

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

NEW BERN – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announces that United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced JAMES MELVIN, II, 34, of Fayetteville, NC, today. MELVIN was sentenced to 66 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release.

On July 12, 2019, MELVIN pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.

In June 2016, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Charleston, South Carolina were conducting a federal wiretap. During the wiretap, agents intercepted MELVIN and an individual known as “Ignacio” arranging the trafficking of a significant amount of heroin.  

Specifically, agents intercepted four phone calls between MELVIN and “Ignacio” between June 6, 2016, and June 10, 2016. In these calls, MELVIN discussed purchasing two kilograms of heroin from “Ignacio” for $57,000 per kilogram. “Ignacio” also told MELVIN that he would send someone to MELVIN to ensure MELVIN had the money, and that the heroin could be provided in two days following confirmation.

On June 10, 2016, agents searched a trashcan at MELVIN’s residence and recovered a pair of latex gloves with heroin residue on them.

Agents soon learned MELVIN would be receiving the heroin shipment on July 3, 2016, from “Ignacio.” On July 3, 2016, agents conducted surveillance on MELVIN’S vehicle. MELVIN was later observed speeding from Cumberland County, North Carolina, into Hoke County, North Carolina, when agents conducted a traffic stop.

After a K-9 gave a positive alert on MELVIN’S vehicle, agents opened the driver’s side door and a red bag containing 2,003 grams of heroin fell to the ground. Additionally, officers found $18,000 in U.S. currency in the center console.

This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Office’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement. For additional information about this initiative, click here

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Fayetteville Police Department, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Scott A. Lemmon prosecuted this case for the government.

Updated December 18, 2019