ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — A man was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for leading a drug trafficking organization based in Elizabeth City, and being a major supplier of drugs in east North Carolina.

Jamal Dance, 31, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession of fentanyl from 2019 and 2022.

The investigation started in 2020 with a drug trafficking organization that was importing heroin and fentanyl from New Jersey, according to court documents.

Dance was identified as the leader, and regularly acquired 25,000 individual dosage units of fentanyl from his New Jersey source before distributing the drugs in Elizabeth City and the surrounding area.

“Dance distributed dangerous drugs into his own community,” said Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina. “Each brick of fentanyl he smuggled here, equaled 50 doses. When you do the math, using the results of our investigation, it is astounding to think of the damage he did to so many people’s lives.”

Dance was arrested in Chesapeake on June 2, 2022 on his way back from New Jersey, officials said.

After a search on his car and residence, officers seized: $14,000 in cash, 10,000 individually packaged dosage units of fentanyl and fentanyl analogue — totaling around 150 grams — a loaded .40 caliber handgun, a loaded AR rifle, various ammunitions, cash and marijuana, officials said.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing fentanyl, and 100 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing fentanyl analogue. He was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison.

“I would like to thank all agencies and personnel involved in this case,” said Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten. “I’m grateful for our working relationship to ensure the safety of our respected communities. I look forward to continuing the effort to keep this poison off the streets.”

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