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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

New Jersey Man Sentenced to more than 22 Years for Conspiring to Distribute Heroin in Jacksonville Area

GREENVILLE — United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that that today in federal court, Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard, sentenced Jordan Ray, 39, of Patterson, New Jersey, to 270 months’ imprisonment, followed by 6 years of supervised release.  RAY was one of nine codefendants named in a fifteen-count Indictment on May 7, 2015.  The Indictment charged RAY with conspiring to distribute cocaine, marijuana, 28 or more grams of crack cocaine, and 100 or more grams of heroin; two counts of possession with intent to distribute the same drugs; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Ray pled guilty to all charges on April 9, 2019.  

Ray was the last of the nine men to be sentenced in this case.  His eight co-conspirators previously received sentences ranging from 12 to 188 months:

  • On June 12, 2019, Christopher Sirmons was sentenced to 63 months’ imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute heroin. 
  • On November 9, 2016, Christopher Salomon was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release following a guilty plea to a charge of conspiring to distribute heroin and 280 or more grams of crack cocaine.
  • On April 13, 2016, Anthony Taylor was sentenced to 188 months’ imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release, following his guilty plea to a charge of conspiring to distribute 100 or more grams of heroin, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, and quantities of powder cocaine and marijuana. 
  • On April 13, 2016, Steven Langley was sentenced to 61 months’ imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release following his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute heroin and Percocet. 
  • On March 8, 2016, James Orr was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release, following a guilty plea to a charge of conspiring to distribute 100 or more grams of heroin, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, and quantities of powder cocaine and marijuana.
  • On March 8, 2016, Christopher Ray Duncan was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release, following his guilty plea to conspiring to distribute heroin. 
  • On March 8, 2016, Steven Rolle was sentenced to 12 months’ and 1 day custody following a guilty plea to a charge of conspiring to distribute a quantity of heroin. 

The investigation began in 2014, when officers of the Jacksonville PD, Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service at Camp Lejeune began receiving reports that a group of men led by co-defendant Anthony Taylor were distributing large amounts of heroin in the Onslow, NC area.  From January through October of 2014, agents were able to conduct 14 controlled buys of heroin and other controlled substances from Taylor and other co-defendants using confidential informants and undercover officers. 

During one of these controlled buys on October 7, 2015, a confidential informant purchased 20 bags of heroin from RAY for $260.  RAY told the informant that he was Taylor’s source of supply from New Jersey.  Law enforcement subsequently learned that RAY had moved to North Carolina from Patterson, NJ, in approximately August 2014 to avoid arrest on unrelated New Jersey murder charges.  Investigators determined that Ray was staying with Taylor and another co-defendant James Orr at a residence in Jacksonville. 
 
On October 16, 2014, officers conducted a traffic stop of a car leaving that residence, in which RAY was a passenger.  On RAY’s person, they found small quantities of crack and powder cocaine and well as marijuana.  The next day, officers executed a search warrant at the residence.  In RAY’s bedroom, they found 4.6 grams of heroin, 58.9 grams of crack cocaine, 47 grams of cocaine, a quantity of marijuana, and a loaded 7.65mm semi-automatic firearm.  They found an additional 80 grams of heroin in Orr’s and Taylor’s bedrooms. 
 
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Since 2017, the United States Department of Justice has reinvigorated the PSN program and has targeted violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
 
That effort has been implemented through the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices in those communities on a sustained basis to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

The Jacksonville Police Department, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) investigated these cases.  Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh represented the government.      

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Updated October 8, 2019