Investigation of pizza delivery box lands meth dealer in prison

Published 10:10 am Monday, July 25, 2022


WILMINGTON, N.C. – Jerrell Taylor, 36, of Kinston North Carolina, was sentenced to 180 months (15 years) in prison for trafficking methamphetamine. The investigation tied meth sales to Taylor through a pizza delivery box that listed his address. When Taylor began to believe he was under federal investigation, he left North Carolina for Las Vegas, Nevada. He was arrested there in April of 2020.

“Through our collaboration across federal, state and local law enforcement, we are taking dangerous and illegal drugs off the streets and putting dealers behind bars,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley.

Taylor pled guilty in July 2021, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine.

According to court documents, evidence presented in court and other documents, on July 24, 2019, Onslow County Sheriff’s Detectives arranged a controlled purchase of 449 grams of meth for $6500. A “middleman” arrived on a motorcycle carrying a pizza box which contained the meth.  The address listed on the pizza box was Taylor’s residence in Kinston.  Following the deal, the middleman met with TaylorLaw enforcement observed the meeting and stopped both individuals.  Taylor was found in possession of money from the controlled purchase.

The investigation revealed that from December 2018 until his arrest, Taylor was involved in the receipt and distribution of more than 18 kilograms of methamphetamine. Taylor was supplied methamphetamine from California including from people associated with the Grape Street Crips.  Taylor and others would have packages sent to addresses in Kinston and New Bern.  Taylor also had various people wire drug proceeds back to California. Among those involved in this conspiracy was Carlos Green. According to information received by law enforcement, Green received several packages of meth from the same source in California. Green was also involved in the distribution of heroin and cocaine in New Bern and Beaufort. Green was convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon and multiple drug trafficking charges in September of 2020. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison earlier this year.

This is part of operation “Fighting Jelly Fish” which is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launders, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security, United States Postal Service, the Craven and Onslow County Sheriffs’ Office and the New Bern and Kinston Police Departments investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo  prosecuted the case.