RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Jamaican man and deported cocaine trafficker was sentenced by a judge Wednesday to spend the next 17 years in prison.
Michael Kenroy Bell, otherwise known as “Jamaica Mike,” pleaded guilty to federal charges in August for “trafficking kilogram quantities of cocaine” and for his role in a trafficking operation based in Raleigh throughout 2021 and 2022.
Prior to these offenses, the U.S. Department of Justice said Bell had been deported to Jamaica on June 25, 2020 after serving a federal sentence for a previous drug trafficking charge.
In 2021, while in the country illegally, 47-year-old Bell was the subject of a larger investigation being run by the FBI and the Raleigh Police Department. The investigation involved surveillance and a federal wiretap, the DOJ said, which showed him interacting with known drug dealers, though he was not charged that year.
While still being surveilled in 2022, Jamaica Mike was seen making trips between Raleigh and Huntersville, as well as 11 trips to Miami, specifically to purchase cocaine.
The investigation also showed he frequented the 700 block of Quarry Street in Raleigh, which is known by law enforcement to be a high drug trafficking area. It’s also where members of the Eight Trey Gangster Crips gather, the DOJ said in a release.
In June 2022, Bell was pulled over in Florida. After smelling the odor of marijuana, officers searched his vehicle in which both cocaine and marijuana were found. At the time of the stop, Jamaica Mike provided a fake identification card. However, his true identity as a deported cocaine trafficker was discovered while being booked, the DOJ said.
The steel bars of the local jail couldn’t contain his influence, though. The DOJ said Bell “orchestrated the continuation of his cocaine distribution in the Raleigh area” while in custody in Florida.
Now, Jamaica Mike will be behind bars in a federal prison for a total of 204 months.
His conviction and sentencing came as a result of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. The task force is assembled to “identify, disrupt, and dismantle the highest-level drug traffickers, money launders, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States.”