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NEW BERN, N.C. –John Michael Gray, 33, of Onslow County, was sentenced to 168 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture of substance containing methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute a quantity of a mixture of substance containing methamphetamine and heroin.

On August 8, 2019, an Onslow County Sheriff’s Detective conducted a traffic stop of Gray in the area of Pony Farm Road in Jacksonville. Law enforcement found a quantity of high purity methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin in the car.

During an on-going investigation, agents uncovered that Gray had been involved in an assault of someone involved with him in the distribution of methamphetamine.  This drug trafficking organization had a reputation for violence.  The assault was mentioned as a warning to other involved not to cross them. Gray was involved in the distribution of more than 700 grams of methamphetamine.

The investigation was part of OCDETF Operation Fighting JellyFish. An Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (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.  This OCDETF focuses on a Multi-State Drug Trafficking Organization and Gang Activity that has been responsible for the distribution of large quantities extremely pure methamphetamine throughout the United States.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after the jury verdict before U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Onslow, Duplin and Craven Sheriff’s Offices and the Beaufort and Kinston Police Department.   Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo  prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on our website. 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-00160-FL.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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