ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

October 24, 2013

Thomas G. Walker, United States Attorney

Contact: Don Connelly
PIO
919-856-4172

Eastern North Carolina Drug Conspirators Sentenced and Civil Action Seeking Forfeiture of House Filed

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that five individuals involved in a drug conspiracy ring in Eastern North Carolina have been sentenced in federal court by United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. Additionally, procedures to seize a house in Kinston, North Carolina used by drug distributors and users have been initiated to rid the community of that blight.

According to the investigation, a boarding house located at 302 East Caswell Street in Kinston was a known crack house. Information was obtained that multiple individuals were selling crack from this location and there were guns at the location as well. Between August 2011 and April 2012, law enforcement officers conducted an operation wherein four different individuals bought crack cocaine from five different individuals a total of eight times. Additionally, one individual was arrested on a weapons charge.

The defendants received the following sentences: ERIC DION LATHAM, 36, of Brentwood, New York was sentenced to 300 months imprisonment followed by 5 years supervised release. LATHAM, was sentenced for conspiracy to distribute a quantity of cocaine base (Crack), distribution of a quantity of cocaine base (Crack) and aiding and abetting the same, and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and aiding and abetting the same, and with felon in possession of a firearm. JAMES HENRY STRONG, 31, of Grifton, North Carolina was sentenced to 48 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release. JAMES HENRY STRONG was sentenced for distribution of a quantity of cocaine base (Crack) and aiding and abetting the same, and distribution of a quantity of cocaine base (Crack) and aiding and abetting the same. JEREMY TYRONE STRONG, 34, of Grifton, North Carolina was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release. JEREMY TYRONE STRONG, was sentenced for distribution of a quantity of cocaine base (Crack) and aiding and abetting the same. MICHAEL ALPHONSO POLLARD, 36, of Hookerton, North Carolina was sentenced to 48 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release. POLLARD was sentenced for two counts of distribution of a quantity of cocaine base (Crack). UNTEZ DEVON LLOYD, 22, of Kinston, North Carolina was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release. LLOYD was sentenced for distribution of a quantity of cocaine base (Crack) and distribution of a quantity of cocaine base (Crack). JAMES THOMAS STRONG, 62, of Grifton, North Carolina was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release. STRONG was sentenced for possession of an unregistered firearm.

In conjunction with the criminal matter, the government filed a civil action seeking the forfeiture of a house at 302 East Caswell Street in Kinston. The civil complaint filed on September 26, 2013 alleges that multiple sales of illegal controlled substances were made from the house. The civil action remains pending.

The criminal investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Kinston Department of Public Safety, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshal’s Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Toby Lathan and Leslie Cooley handled the prosecution of the criminal cases on behalf of the Government. Assistant United States Attorney Steve West handled the forfeiture of the property in Kinston for the government.

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