Leader of central NC armed drug trafficking organization sentenced to 18 years in prison

State - Regional

Jerry Andre Melton

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The final member of a central North Carolina armed drug trafficking organization was sentenced to 18 years in prison, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.

Jerry Andre Melton, of Wilson, was the leader of an organization that trafficked drugs in the area of Nash and Wilson counties. He was the final member to be sentenced, a news release said.

In October 2017, Wilson police responded to a nightclub after Laquan Allen fired shots. He was arrested in the parking lot. Officers seized crack, cocaine, fentanyl, and a stolen .40 caliber handgun from him, the release said.

In June 2018, Wilson police learned of Melton and his organization’s distribution of cocaine and crack in the Wilson area. Other members included Allen, Demetrius Tyree Allen, and Vanderbilt Johnson.

In September 2018, Laquan Allen was arrested at a Wilson convenience store on an outstanding warrant. He was found to be in possession of crack, cocaine, and a stolen handgun, the release said.

In January 2019, Melton’s vehicle was searched during a traffic stop in Wilson. Law enforcement seized crack, marijuana, and cash. More drugs were found during a later search of he and Demetrius Allen’s Wilson residence, the release said.

In June 2019, crack, digital scales, and a handgun were seized during a search of Laquan Allen’s apartment in Wilson.

Then, from February to March 2020, Nash County deputies conducted controlled purchases of crack and two guns from Vanderbilt Johnson, the release said.

The Nash County Sheriff’s Office said Melton’s organization was responsible for distributing more than 3 kilograms of crack and more than 3 kilograms of cocaine.

Melton was convicted of:

  • Conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and 500 grams or more of cocaine
  • Possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and a quantity of cocaine

Laquan Javon Allen was 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)
  • Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Vanderbilt Johnson was 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

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, as well.

Demetrius Tyree Allen was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and cocaine. He was sentenced to 70 months in jail.

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