Final member of armed drug trafficking organization sentenced

Crime Tracker

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Wilson man was sentenced today to 216 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and 500 grams or more of cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and a quantity of cocaine.

Jerry Andre Melton was the leader of an armed drug trafficking organization that operated in Wilson and Nash Counties, and he was the final member of the organization to be sentenced.

According to court documents, Melton, was named in an Indictment filed on May 13, 2020.  On February 25, 2021, Melton entered a plea of guilty.

In June 2018, members of the Wilson Police Department learned that Melton was the leader of a drug trafficking organization that was distributing cocaine and crack cocaine in the Wilson area. Other members of the organization included Demetrius Tyree Allen, Laquan Javon Allen, and Vanderbilt Johnson.

From July 2018 to March 2019, law enforcement conducted multiple controlled purchases of drugs from Melton, Demetrius Allen, Laquan Allen, and Vanderbilt Johnson.

Law enforcement also seized drugs and firearms from members of the Melton drug trafficking organization. On October 29, 2017, the Wilson Police Department responded to a nightclub after Laquan Allen entered the club and fired shots. Allen was arrested in the parking lot, and agents seized crack cocaine, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and a stolen .40 caliber handgun from Allen. 

On September 6, 2018, Laquan Allen was arrested at a convenience store in Wilson, North Carolina on an outstanding arrest warrant. He was found in possession of crack cocaine, cocaine, and a stolen .380 caliber handgun.

On January 23, 2019, agents conducted a traffic stop of Melton’s vehicle in Wilson, North Carolina and seized crack cocaine, marijuana, and currency. A search warrant was executed at Melton’s and Demetrius Allen’s residence in Wilson, where agents seized crack cocaine and cocaine.

On June 26, 2019, agents executed a search warrant at Laquan Allen’s apartment on Chase Road in Wilson and seized crack cocaine, digital scales, and a .45 caliber handgun.

From February 2020 through March 2020, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office conducted controlled purchases of crack cocaine and two firearms from Vanderbilt Johnson.

In total, the Melton drug trafficking organization was responsible for distributing more than three kilograms of crack cocaine and more than three kilograms of cocaine.

Below are the results of the other cases in this investigation:

  • Laquan Javon Allen, 5:20-CR-234-D-2:
    • Convicted of: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and cocaine; possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack); and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
    • Sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment.
  • Demetrius Tyree Allen, 5:20-CR-234-D-3:
    • Convicted of: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and cocaine.
    • Sentenced to 70 months’ imprisonment.
  • Vanderbilt Johnson, 5:20-cr-00248-FL-1:
    • Convicted of: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and cocaine; distribution of a quantity of cocaine base (crack); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
    • Sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment.

Norman Acker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Wilson Police Department and Nash County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott A. Lemmon prosecuted the case.

This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Office’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement. For additional information about this initiative, click here https://www.justice.gov/usao-ednc/tbnc.

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