Leland man sentenced 30 years for trafficking heroin, cash between New Jersey and Wilmington

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Many bundles of heroin come with its own trademark stamp. Photo by Christina Haley.
Many bundles of heroin come with its own trademark stamp. (File photo)

WILMINGTON — A Leland man was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for trafficking heroin in a large-scale organization that moved large amounts of the drug and cash between New Jersey and Wilmington.

Robert Boone, 43, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, according to a notice from U.S. Attorney’s Office Spokesman Don Connelly.

Federal and state law enforcement agencies conducted an investigation into Boone which revealed that he operated a drug trafficking organization in his hometown of Paterson, New Jersey. He relocated the operation to the Wilmington area in 2012, according to the release.

Connelly said that from 2012 and 2015, the organization “flooded” the local drug market with kilogram-quantities of heroin and employed couriers to transport the heroin and its proceeds between New Jersey and Wilmington.

The drug organization used multiple bank accounts, wire transfers and prepaid debit cards to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds.

Nine of Boone’s co-defendants in the case have already been sentenced in federal court in connection with the drug organization and are each serving lengthy sentences of between 5 to 15 years in federal prison. One co-defendant was convicted of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and was sentenced to 3 years probation.

“This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation entitled WoofPack, investigating importers and multi-level distributors of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and gang activity associated with this (organization),” Connelly said.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Wilmington Safe Streets Task Force, the Wilmington Police Department, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Toby Lathan handled the prosecution on behalf of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

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