Goldsboro Man Receives 25 Years in Federal Prison for His Role in a Multi-County Meth Operation | USAO-EDNC

NEW BERN, N.C. – Edquan Battle, 35, of Goldsboro, was sentenced to 300 months in prison for his role in a multi-county meth operation.

“This conviction is a part of our coordinated efforts to dismantle and disrupt the criminal networks that are bringing illegal drugs into our communities,” said Michael Easley, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Battle was convicted of the following charges:

  1. Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing Methamphetamine; and
  2. Distribution of 50 grams or more of a substance containing Methamphetamine. 

According to court documents, evidence presented in court and other documents, on June 27, 2019, Kinston Police and Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office detectives working with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Task Force Officers were conducting surveillance on Christopher Walker and observed him meet with Ernie James and Robert Lowery.  They were observed driving to a residence associated with Battle on Dale Street in Goldsboro. Walker purchased 2 ounces of methamphetamine for the trio from Battle. Law enforcement stopped the individuals and recovered the methamphetamine.

On July 1, 2019, two ATF confidential informants (CIs) purchased approximately 85 grams of methamphetamine from Battle at the residence on Dale Street.  Following this controlled purchase and unbeknownst to ATF, the CIs returned to meet Battle at Dale Street.  Battle sold them a quantity of heroin.  One of them overdosed and had to be revived by emergency medical personal with Narcan.

On July 3, 2019, Duplin County Sheriff’s Detectives arrested Victoria Humphrey in the parking lot of the Family Dollar in Albertson.  Humphries had 140 grams of methamphetamine that she had previous purchased from Battle.  Humphrey had a handgun in a holster on her hip and a small child was also in the car.  Later that day, Duplin County Detectives made a controlled purchase of approximately 110 grams of methamphetamine from Battle in Albertson.  Battle was ultimately arrested by law enforcement on federal charges.  The investigation revealed that Battle was involved in the distribution of more than 25 kilogram of methamphetamine and 7 ounces of heroin from 2018 until the time of his arrest in July 2019.

This prosecution is part of operation “Fighting Jelly Fish” which is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launders, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

The following people have previously been sentenced in federal court for their role in this drug trafficking organization:

  • Christopher Walker pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and received a prison sentence of 112 months. 
  • Ernie James pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and received a prison sentence of 123 months.
  • Robert Lowery pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and received a prison sentence of 70 months. 
  • Victoria Humphrey pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and received a prison sentence of 108 months.
     

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Craven, Duplin, Lenoir and Onslow County Sheriff’s Offices and the Jacksonville and Kinston Police Departments investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo  prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:19-cr-00139-FL.

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Author: Editor
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