NEW BERN, N.C. – An Ayden man was sentenced Tuesday to 165 months in prison for conspiring to distribute cocaine and for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

The office of the US Attorney for the Eastern District of NC, Michael Easley Jr., reported in a press release that on July 19, 2022, Maurice Montrell Greene pled guilty to his role in the conspiracy. Greene was the leader of the local “Grape Street” Crips gang set during the time that he was under investigation.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Greene, 34, was involved with a group of individuals that were obtaining kilograms of cocaine for distribution in Ayden and the greater Pitt County area.  A multi-year investigation spanning from 2016 to February 2019 included controlled purchases, surveillance, witness interviews, and a court-authorized wiretap on Greene and others’ cellular phones led to the seizure of approximately 1800 grams of cocaine and over $382,000. Specifically, as to Greene, over $47,000, 935 grams of cocaine and a firearm were seized from residences where Greene lived. 

Easley made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Drug Enforcement Administration, Greenville Regional Drug Task Force, and the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Caroline Webb prosecuted the case.