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Press Release

Roanoke Rapids Man Sentenced to 77 Months Imprisonment on Drug and Firearm Charges

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

GREENVILLE — United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today in federal court, Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard, sentenced JERMAINE HALE, 30, of Roanoke Rapids to 77 months’ imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release.  HALE was named in a three-count Indictment on March 17, 2017, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition; possession with intent to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  On December 2, 2019, he pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute the drugs, as well as possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. 

According to the investigation, on November 10, 2016, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office narcotics agents were investigating drug complaints in Lincoln Heights Community of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.  They noticed a car that abruptly pulled into a driveway as they drove in its direction, as if the driver was attempting to evade law enforcement.  The agents circled back to conduct surveillance.  The driver again started to pull out of the driveway only to pull back into the driveway when the agents revealed themselves.  The agents approached and saw the driver, later identified as HALE, appear to place something under his seat.  As they came up to HALE, they noticed a strong odor of marijuana from his person.  HALE attempted to walk away, and plastic baggies began falling from his pants leg.  Agents attempted to detain him, but he resisted and began to reach toward his waistband.  One of the agents then deployed a taser and subdued him.

Agents searched HALE’s clothing and concealed inside his pants found a plastic bag containing 13 grams of crack cocaine, 17 grams of powder cocaine, and 29 grams of marijuana.  They searched HALE’s car and found a Sig Sauer .45 caliber handgun loaded with 7 rounds sitting underneath the driver’s seat. 

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 Halifax County Sheriff’s Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh represented the government.        

Updated March 10, 2020

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime