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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 1, 2016

Monroe, N.C. Man Sentenced To 17 1/2 Years On Drug Trafficking Charges

CHARLOTTE, N.C. –U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. sentenced today James Ronald Helms, Jr., 49, of Monroe, N.C., to 210 months in prison, followed by four years of supervised release on drug conspiracy charges, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  Helms was also ordered to forfeit $47,813 in drug proceeds.

John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, Sheriff Eddie Cathey of the Union County Sheriff’s Office and Chief J. Bryan Gilliard of the Monroe Police Department join U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, on or about April 2015, law enforcement became aware that Helms was selling methamphetamine and cocaine from his residence located in Monroe.  In or about June 2015, law enforcement executed a search warrant, seizing from Helms’ residence more than two (2) kilograms of methamphetamine with over               95% purity, over half a kilogram of cocaine, $47,813 in cash and a vehicle which contained narcotics.  Court records show that law enforcement also seized from Helms’ residence 13 firearms, including two SKS assault rifles and ammunition. 

In March 2016, Helms pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.  He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.  All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole. 

In announcing today’s sentence, Judge Conrad stated, “The time has come to protect the community. Defendant’s drug trafficking life has caught up with him. He has done too much evil.”

The FBI, the Union County Sheriff’s Office and the Monroe Police Department handled the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sanjeev Bhasker of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.

Updated September 2, 2016