RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A high-ranking member of a North Carolina branch of a gang was sentenced to 40 years in prison for methamphetamine distribution and other charges, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

In July 2018, Deandre Earp, the second-in-command in the Eight Trey Gangster Crip, was tased and assaulted by a rival gang member in Raleigh. He and his associates planned to retaliate by murdering the rival gang member, according to a DOJ release.

However, Earp and a co-defendant were pulled over by a Raleigh police officer on their way to do so. Earp was the passenger in the vehicle. He and the co-defendant both had loaded guns and were taken into custody, thereby preventing a potential murder, the release said.

Earp was also responsible for conspiring to distribute more than 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine in the Raleigh area, federal officials said.

The gang has operated in North Carolina for nearly 20 years. The DOJ said it “has a reputation for a propensity for violence that includes several homicides, aggravated assaults and robberies.”

The Eight Trey Gangster Crips originated out of Los Angeles and are recognized as a national criminal street gang, the DOJ said.

Furthermore, federal officials said Earp, in his North Carolina leadership position, directed members of his gang in selling drugs in the Raleigh area. He trained less experienced members to distribute the narcotics without being detected by law enforcement.

Earp pleaded guilty on May 5, 2021, to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and violent crimes in aid of racketeering for conspiring to kill a rival gang member. He was sentenced to 480 months in prison.