Home Charlotte Press Releases 2009 Three Sentenced in Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation

Three Sentenced in Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 10, 2009
  • Eastern District of North Carolina (919) 856-4530

NEW BERN—United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced DONALD DEVINE GREEN in an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation (OCDETF) investigation entitled Operation Monarch. The investigation centered around the possession with intent to distribute and distribution of substantial amounts of heroin from the New York City area to Wilmington, North Carolina. This ongoing investigation began as a cocaine distribution investigation and during the course of the investigation agents discovered a heroin distribution ring. The ring included previously sentenced defendants HERON THOMAS and WINSTON ELLIS. THOMAS and ELLIS were arrested in possession of 4,923 dosage units of heroin, the largest single heroin seizure in Wilmington. On April 2, 2008, GREEN distributed 500 dosage units of heroin to an agent of the government. In Wilmington on August 27, 2008, GREEN was arrested in possession of 590 dosage units of heroin and $5,850 in cash. GREEN and other members of the conspiracy had acquired the heroin in New York and planned to distributed it in Wilmington. The investigation revealed that this drug trafficking organization was responsible for distributing at least 25,500 grams of heroin throughout the Wilmington area from April 2005 until September 2007.

GREEN was sentenced to 203 months imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release. On November 6, 2008, GREEN pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.

THOMAS was sentenced to 188 months’ imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release. On December 4, 2008, THOMAS pleaded guilty to Count One of the indictment, which charged him conspiring with others to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.

ELLIS was sentenced to 49 months’ imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release. On November 6, 2008, ELLIS pleaded guilty to Count One of the indictment, which charged him conspiring with others to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.

Mr. Holding commented, “The sentences imposed by the Court in this case properly addresses the complexity and scope of the defendants’ illegal work. I’m grateful for the hard work of the investigators who handled this matter.”

The law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation are the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Bureau of Investigation, and Wilmington Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Michael G. James and Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo are the assigned prosecutors. Mr. Severo is a prosecutor with the New Hanover District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Ben David has assigned him to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force criminal matters. This has been made possible by a grant funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission and the New Hanover County Commissioners.

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