Published On: Fri, Jun 21st, 2019

New Bern Man, Calvin Wilson Sentenced to 35 Years for Heroin and Marijuana Conspiracy

United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that in federal court, before Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle, CALVIN MARK WILSON, also known as “Bali,” 35, of New Bern, North Carolina was sentenced to 35 years (420 months) in federal prison for conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one thousand (1,000) grams or more of heroin and a quantity of marijuana.

Public domain photo/Naturally via Wikimedia Commons

The investigation was part of OCDETF Operation 190, which was named in memory of New Bern Police Department Officer Alexander Thalmann.  Officer Thalmann was shot and killed in the line of duty on March 31, 2014 by associates of the defendant’s in this case.  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.

WILSON’s sentencing was the culmination of a multi-year investigation into a heroin trafficking ring operating in and around New Bern, North Carolina, and led primarily by two men: Damien Lamonte Brown and Calvin Mark Wilson.  Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and members of the New Bern Police Department learned that Brown, WILSON, and others had been involved in ordering heroin from New York City and arranging it to be brought down in multi-kilogram amounts over a period of several years.  Brown and WILSON then supplied various mid- and lower-level dealers in and around New Bern with the heroin for sale.

As part of the investigation, law enforcement conducted over twenty controlled purchases of heroin from organization members between November 2016 and July 2017, along with traffic stops and other encounters in which they confirmed that members possessed drugs and guns. Based on that investigation, ATF then obtained authorization for a federal wiretap of cellular phones associated with WILSON and two co-defendants.  As a result, agents intercepted calls and texts over a three-month period in 2017 showing that WILSON was directing the supply and distribution of kilogram-levels of heroin from New York to New Bern, NC.  Based on intercepted calls, agents were able to stop and arrest WILSON and two co-defendants traveling back from New York with 3lbs of marijuana and 7 bars of heroin cutting agent. Subsequent investigation revealed that hundreds of grams of heroin had traveled separately down from New York to New Bern that day.

ATF made arrests of many of the defendants on October 24, 2017, along with searches of five residences associated with the organization.  Through the life of the investigation, law enforcement has seized over a kilogram of heroin and twenty firearms.

The investigation also led to 8 individuals being charged by the state for drug offenses.  Those charges remain pending.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), New Bern Police Department, Jacksonville Police Department, Craven County Sheriff’s Office, Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, Trent Woods Police Department, Carteret County Sheriff’s Office, Morehead City Police Department, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, and with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  Assistant United States Attorney Laura S. Howard prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

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