North Carolina man sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for methamphetamine distribution, conspiracy

Published 7:46 am Thursday, November 10, 2022

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Israel Ramos Ponce, 24, of Winston Salem was sentenced Thursday, October 13, 2022 to 151 months in prison for trafficking methamphetamine, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Ponce pleaded guilty on May 18 to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and the Winston-Salem Police Department received information that Ponce was part of a large-scale drug trafficking organization in 2018.

“The organization operated in Winston-Salem, and it distributed significant quantities of crystal methamphetamine to the Goldsboro area,” stated the release. “During the investigation, law enforcement learned that Ponce was a courier who assisted co-defendant Kelvin Vincente Noyola, a/k/a ‘Tripp,’ in the distribution of significant quantities of methamphetamine to customers of the organization. Over the course of the conspiracy, Ponce was responsible for assisting in the distribution of at least 933.5 grams of crystal methamphetamine.”

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Co-defendant Noyola was also charged and convicted in this investigation. Noyola pleaded guilty on July 25, 2022 to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, aiding and abetting. Noyola’s sentencing is pending, noted the release.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Court Judge James C. Dever II. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and the Winston-Salem Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer C. Nucci prosecuted.