ALBEMARLE — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina announced June 21 that Amaud Jaquane Allen, known as “Bookie,” was sentenced to 11 years in prison for trafficking fentanyl.
Allen, who is from Albemarle, was arrested in December 2019 but sentencing may have been delayed like much of North Carolina’s court system in 2020 due to the global pandemic.
According to a press release, federal Homeland Security investigators worked with local law enforcement to set up two “controlled purchase” operations to build a case against the suspected fentanyl dealer.
In the first operation, law enforcement purchased about “two ounces of fentanyl and a .45 caliber handgun” from Allen in November 2019. In December 2019, they operated a “buy-bust” operation, arranging to buy “three bags containing approximately 24 grams of fentanyl.”
Allen, 29, was arrested at this point and charged with multiple offenses, including distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Allen pled guilty to the first charge, distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl, on March 4, 2021, and was held for sentencing.
The court determined Allen was a “career offender” for these and previous charges. In 2010, Allen was convicted of common law robbery, and in 2017, the Superior Court of Stanly County convicted him of conspiracy to sell a Schedule I controlled substance and two counts of possession with intent to sell or deliver a Schedule I controlled substance.
Because Allen was already a convicted felon at the time of the December 2019 operation, he was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Eagles said that in addition to the 132 months in prison, Allen was ordered to “serve four years of supervised release and to pay a $100 special assessment to the United States.”
Multiple agencies were involved in the operation to arrest and convict Allen, including Homeland Security; the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Albemarle Police Department; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; and the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig M. Principe prosecuted the case.
Allen has long been involved with illegal narcotics distribution networks in the area. He was arrested in October 2015 with 10 others on Arey Avenue in Albemarle by the city’s police department where heroin, cocaine, marijuana, a stolen firearm and $3,184 were found. He was charged with conspiracy to sell and deliver Schedule I and possession with the intent to sell and deliver heroin.
Fentanyl and other opioids continue to be a major cause of death in the United States and Stanly County.
According to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, which tracks opioid data by county, in April 2021 — the latest month for which they have complete information — Stanly County had the second-highest rate of emergency room visits for opioid overdoses per capita in North Carolina. For every 100,000 residents, McDowell County had 24 opioid overdose ER visits, and Stanly County followed with 20.7, well ahead of Robeson County, which was third with 16.1 ER visits for opioid overdose.