U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina
(704) 344-6222
October 30, 2014

Six Sentenced to Prison on Cocaine and Crack Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy Charges

CHARLOTTE, NC—Today, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. handed down prison sentences ranging from 168 to 84 months to six defendants involved in a drug trafficking conspiracy, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. The six men each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine.

U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by 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.

Judge Conrad sentenced Torbent Lamont Jackson, 34, of Charlotte to 168 months in prison; James Russell Coulter, 35, of Grover, N.C., to 132 months in prison; Mario Demond Floyd, 34, of Charlotte, to 120 months in prison; Larry Donnell Erby, Jr., 35, of Gastonia, N.C to 120 months in prison; Thomas Monteres Burris, 34, of Gastonia, to 87 months in prison; and Carroll Macarthur Williams, Jr., 35, of Winston-Salem, N.C. to 84 months in prison. Each defendant was also ordered to serve five years under court supervision upon release from prison.

According to filed court documents and court proceedings, from 2002 to September 2013, in Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties and elsewhere, the defendants conspired with each other and others to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, including dozens of kilograms of cocaine and dozens of ounces of crack cocaine with a street value in excess of $2 million. Coulter’s and Floyd’s sentences were enhanced because of their prior criminal histories and because they possessed a firearm in furtherance of the conspiracy.

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). 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 level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

The defendants are 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.

The case was investigated by the FBI and Gastonia PD. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte handled the prosecution.

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