RALEIGH, N.C. — A verified Crips gang member was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison for multiple cocaine and crack charges, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, in January 2020, Deondre Montreal Russell, 34, also known as “Poo Bear,” sold cocaine and crack to a confidential informant utilized by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Attorney Michael Easley said in a news release Monday.

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Upon leaving that meeting, Russell, of Selma, committed a traffic violation and was stopped by police. The stop resulted in an altercation between Russell and the officer, a release said. Russell was arrested and found to be carrying 26.51 grams of crack cocaine, 27.62 grams of cocaine, and $650 in cash, according to Easley’s office.

Russell was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and 28 grams or more of crack, and possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and crack.

Russell was convicted by a federal jury of the charges in July.

Over the course of the investigation, a confidential informant told investigators they met Russell during the summer of 2018 and said Russell sold them about 3,628.8 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 453.7 grams of crack during an eight-to-nine-month period, Easley said.

The informant said they saw Russell carrying and possessing at least two firearms. In October 2020, when Russell was on state probation, federal officers arrested him and reported they found a digital scale with apparent cocaine residue, as well as, 10 grams of marijuana.

After the arrest, additional confidential informants confirmed drug purchases from Russell and told investigators that Russell made credible threats to use violence against witnesses in his trial, Easley said.

In September of 2005, Russell pled guilty to second degree murder and was released from prison in 2016. The defendant was originally charged as a juvenile, but his case was bound over to superior court and he was tried as an adult.

Following his release from prison, Russell was convicted of possession of cocaine and other controlled substances, as well as selling marijuana in 2018.