Man sentenced for conspiring to distribute heroin in Jacksonville area

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) A New Jersey man has been sentenced to more than 22 years for conspiring to distribute heroin in the Jacksonville area.

United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that in federal court, Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard, sentenced Jordan Ray, 39, of Patterson, New Jersey, to 22.5 years in prison, followed by six years of supervised release.

Ray was one of nine codefendants named in a 15 count indictment on May 7, 2015. 

The indictment charged Ray with conspiring to distribute cocaine, marijuana, 28 or more grams of crack cocaine, and 100 or more grams of heroin; two counts of possession with intent to distribute the same drugs; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Ray pleaded guilty to all charges on April 9.

Ray was the last of the nine men to be sentenced in the case.

His eight co-conspirators previously received sentences ranging from one to 15.6 years:

  • On June 12, Christopher Sirmons was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute heroin. 
  • On November 9, 2016, Christopher Salomon was sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release following a guilty plea to a charge of conspiring to distribute heroin and 280 or more grams of crack cocaine.
  • On April 13, 2016, Anthony Taylor was sentenced to 15.6 years in prison and five years of supervised release, following his guilty plea to a charge of conspiring to distribute 100 or more grams of heroin, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, and quantities of powder cocaine and marijuana. 
  • On April 13, 2016, Steven Langley was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of supervised release following his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute heroin and Percocet. 
  • On March 8, 2016, James Orr was sentenced to five years in prison and five years of supervised release, following a guilty plea to a charge of conspiring to distribute 100 or more grams of heroin, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, and quantities of powder cocaine and marijuana.
  • On March 8, 2016, Christopher Ray Duncan was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison and three years of supervised release, following his guilty plea to conspiring to distribute heroin. 
  • On March 8, 2016, Steven Rolle was sentenced to one year in prison and one-day custody following a guilty plea to a charge of conspiring to distribute a quantity of heroin. 

The investigation began in 2014, when officers of the Jacksonville Police Department, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service at Camp Lejeune began receiving reports that a group of men led by co-defendant Anthony Taylor were distributing large amounts of heroin in the Onslow County area.

From January through October of 2014, agents were able to conduct 14 controlled buys of heroin and other controlled substances from Taylor and other co-defendants using confidential informants and undercover officers. 

During one of these controlled buys on October 7, 2015, a confidential informant purchased 20 bags of heroin from Ray for $260.

Ray told the informant that he was Taylor’s source of supply from New Jersey.

Law enforcement subsequently learned that Ray had moved to North Carolina from Patterson, N.J., in approximately August 2014 to avoid arrest on unrelated New Jersey murder charges.

Investigators determined that Ray was staying with Taylor and another co-defendant James Orr at a residence in Jacksonville. 

On October 16, 2014, officers conducted a traffic stop of a car leaving that residence, in which Ray was a passenger.

On Ray’s person, they found small quantities of crack and powder cocaine and well as marijuana.

The next day, officers executed a search warrant at the residence.

In Ray’s bedroom, they found 4.6 grams of heroin, 58.9 grams of crack cocaine, 47 grams of cocaine, a quantity of marijuana, and a loaded 7.65mm semi-automatic firearm.

They found an additional 80 grams of heroin in Orr’s and Taylor’s bedrooms. 

The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

The Jacksonville Police Department, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) investigated these cases.

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