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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

April 22, 2009

George E. B. Holding, United States Attorney

Operation “Hot Soup” Defendant Sentenced to Over 26 Years in Prison

RALEIGH — United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court here on April 20, 2009, CHARLES MELVIN CAMPBELL, JR., was sentenced to 320 months by United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle for conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than fifty (50) grams of cocaine base (crack) and for possessing a firearm in furtherance of this drug trafficking crime. CAMPBELL was the head of a drug organization operating in Red Springs, North Carolina. In total ten defendants have pleaded guilty to their involvement in this conspiracy as part of operation “Hot Soup.”

United States Attorney George E.B. Holding commented: Putting the ring leader of this large drug conspiracy behind bars should send a strong message to criminals throughout our district that the United States will not tolerate such brazen violations of the law.

The Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Charlotte Field Division, Zebedee T. Graham, noted: Charles Campbell and his codefendants ran a highly organized drug trafficking ring for decades while using firearms to protect the business in an area known as the ‘Compound.’ This highly coordinated investigation involving the Red Springs Police Department, ATF and the United States Attorney’s Office demonstrates how serious we take offenses against our communities like these. We will continue to work as a single cohesive unit to identify and remove anyone that believes they can conduct similar violations of the law.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Red Springs Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Jason Cowley and Denise Walker served as prosecutors for the government in this matter.