Armed Leader Of Drug Conspiracy Is Sentenced To 27 Years
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – On Thursday, January 24, 2019, Dontarius Marquis Hall, 39, of Gaston County, N.C., was sentenced to 27 years in prison for drug trafficking conspiracy, distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a felon, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray. In addition to the prison term imposed, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. also ordered Hall to serve five years under court supervision.
John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Robert C. Helton of the Gastonia Police Department join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.
According to information contained in filed court documents and Hall’s sentencing hearing, Hall’s trial was scheduled to begin on June 4, 2018. The morning of the first day of trial Hall entered a plea of guilty, and admitted to being the leader, organizer and recruiter of a drug conspiracy that operated in an around Gaston County. Hall further admitted that between 2010 and 2015, the drug conspiracy trafficked eight to twenty-five kilograms of crack cocaine. According to court records, while executing a federal search warrant at Hall’s residence in December 2015, law enforcement recovered two firearms, drug trafficking paraphernalia, and $965 in cash. Due to his lengthy criminal history, which dates back to 1999 and includes several convictions for drug and firearm offenses, Hall was prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Hall is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
This case has been brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Justice Department’s program to reduce violent crime. The PSN approach emphasizes coordination between state and federal prosecutors and all levels of law enforcement to address gun crime, especially felons illegally possessing firearms and ammunition and violent and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms.
This case stems from an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the FBI and the Gastonia Police Department for their investigation of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven R. Kaufman and Lambert Guinn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte handled the prosecution.