RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A gang member who was charged with “running an armed drug trafficking operation” has been sentenced, according to officials.

Jimmy McKoy Rouse, 26, of Sampson County was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison, officials said in a release.

Officials said Rouse ran the operation from “multiple locations throughout Sampson County.”

According to the release, Rouse was convicted of nine felony drug trafficking and firearm charges in January 2022.

U.S. Attorney Michael Easley stated how Rouse was a danger to eastern North Carolina communities.

“This defendant’s fervent commitment to using extreme violence to protect an extensive drug trafficking network endangered many communities in Eastern North Carolina,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “Local and federal investigative agencies worked collaboratively and patiently to build a case that the jury found compelling and ultimately led to Rouse’s conviction and a fifty-year prison sentence.”

Judge Judge James C. Dever, III expressed at the sentencing that when Rouse was shown leniency with a reduced sentence “or [a] dismissed charge…[it] emboldened Rouse” instead of encouraging a change.

Investigation evidence from 2016 was also presented in court to show that Rouse was a “large-scale drug dealer who trafficked kilogram quantities of methamphetamine, along with significant quantities of heroin, assorted pills, cocaine and cocaine base (crack),” according to the release.

An AK-47, extended magazines and accompanying rounds of ammunition were also seized during the case, officials said.

According to officials, “12 other co-conspirators have been federally prosecuted in cases related to the Rouse investigation.”