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Justice News

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

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Five Men Involved In Drug Conspiracy Are Sentenced To Prison

CHARLOTTE, N.C. U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray announced that five men involved in the distribution of multiple kilograms of crack cocaine in the Charlotte area were sentenced today to prison terms ranging from five to ten years.

Special Agent in Charge John A. Strong of the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office and Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, join U.S. Attorney Murray in making the announcement.

U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. sentenced the five defendants as follows:

  • Samuel James McNeely, 37, of Charlotte, was ordered to serve 121 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.
  • Demetrius Coleman, 40, of Charlotte, was sentenced to 100 months in prison, and four years of supervised release.
  • Bobby Samuel Arnold, 31, of Charlotte, was sentenced to 96 months in prison, and four years in supervised release.
  • Corey J. Baker, 36, of Mint Hill, N.C., was ordered to serve 90 months in prison, followed by four years of supervised release.
  • Larry Ray Jr., 46, of Matthews, N.C. was sentenced to 63 months in prison, and four years in supervised release.

According to court documents and today’s sentencing hearings, from 2016 to 2018, McNeely, Arnold, Baker, Coleman and Ray were involved in a crack cocaine distribution conspiracy operating in Mecklenburg County.  Court records show that the defendants used a residence located on Rachel Street in Charlotte as a base to manufacture and distribute crack cocaine. McNeely acted as a supplier of crack cocaine in the conspiracy and also sold the drug in the Charlotte area, along with his four co-conspirators. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement recovered multiple firearms, including a modified AR-style rifle which McNeely possessed illegally.

Each defendant previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.  McNeely, Coleman, Arnold, and Baker also pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the FBI and CMPD for their investigation of this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Bozin, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.

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.

Violent Crime
Updated March 27, 2019