Skip to main content
Press Release

Selma, N.C. Crips Gang Member Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Cocaine and Crack Possession

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

RALEIGH, N.C. –A verified Crips gang member residing in Selma, N.C., was sentenced Friday to 360 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and twenty-eight (28) grams or more of cocaine base (“crack”) and possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and cocaine base (“crack”). On July 19, 2022, Deondre Montreal Russell, 34, also known as “Poo Bear,” was convicted by a federal jury of the charges.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Russell, 33, sold cocaine and crack to a confidential informant utilized by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in January of 2020. Upon leaving the meeting, Russell committed a traffic violation and was stopped by police. The stop resulted in an altercation between Russell and the officer, and Russell was arrested and found to be carrying 26.51 grams of cocaine base (“crack”), 27.62 grams of cocaine, and $650 in cash.

Over the course of the investigation, a confidential informant notified investigators that they met Russell during the summer of 2018 and stated that Russell sold them approximately 3,628.8 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 453.7 grams of cocaine base (“crack”) during an eight-to-nine-month period. The confidential informant observed Russell carrying and possessing at least two firearms. In October of 2020, when Russell was on state probation, officers federally arrested him and found a digital scale with apparent cocaine residue, as well as 10 grams of marijuana. After the arrest, additional confidential informants confirmed drug purchases from Russell and told investigators that Russell made credible threats to use violence against witnesses in his trial.

In September of 2005, Russell pled guilty to second degree murder and was released from prison in 2016. The defendant was originally charged as a juvenile, but his case was bound over to superior court and he was tried as an adult.  Following his release from prison, Russell was convicted of possession of cocaine and other controlled substances, as well as selling marijuana in 2018.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly L. Sandling prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-cr-00459-D.

Updated February 6, 2023

Drug Trafficking