AJamaican man who is described as a “career drug trafficker” was last week sentenced to 204 months (or 17 years) in prison for cocaine trafficking in Raleigh, North Carolina in the United States.
The convict is 47-year-old Michael Kenroy Bell, alias ‘Jamaica Mike’.
He was sentenced on Wednesday by US District Judge James C Dever III.
The Jamaican had previously pleaded guilty to trafficking kilogram quantities of cocaine on August 17, 2023.
The announcement of the charges was contained in a press release by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Bell had been deported to Jamaica on June 25, 2020, after serving a federal sentence for a previous drug trafficking offence, and is back in the US illegally.
“This career drug trafficker was previously charged, convicted and deported,” said Michael Easley, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina in the release.
The attorney said this time around, the Jamaican was caught trying to dodge accountability with a false identity.
“Drug traffickers operating in Raleigh should take note of this 17-year sentence,” Easley declared, adding that “We are actively partnering with Raleigh Police and the FBI to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking networks like this one.”
According to court documents and other information presented in court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Raleigh Police Department were involved in an investigation of a drug trafficking organisation operating in Raleigh in the Fall of 2021.
Through physical and electronic surveillance, including a federal wiretap, Bell was observed interacting frequently with known drug dealers who were subjects of the investigation.
“Though he was not charged in the 2021 investigation, Bell remained under surveillance by law enforcement and, between February and May 2022, was observed making numerous trips between Raleigh and Huntersville, as well as 11 trips to Miami, Florida specifically to purchase cocaine,” the release outlined.
Bell, according to the allegations, was often observed in the 700-block of Quarry Street, which is “frequented by members of the Eight Trey Gangster Crips, and is known by law enforcement to be a high drug trafficking area.”
Bell, in June 2022, was pulled over in Florida and, after detecting an odour of marijuana, officers searched his vehicle and found both cocaine and marijuana.
Bell provided law enforcement a fake identification card, but his identity was discovered when he was booked at the local jail.
Despite being in custody, Bell orchestrated the continuation of his cocaine distribution in the Raleigh area.
The US Attorney’s office said the Jamaican has a lengthy criminal record, including multiple felonies, including a 2009 federal conviction on two drug trafficking charges.