Pender County man convicted of distributing cocaine and heroin


PENDER COUNTY — A Pender County man has been sentenced to more than 14 years in prison on multiple drug charges, according to a Department of Justice statement.

Elmer “EJ” Holmes Jr., 38, was charged with two counts, including conspiracy to possess and distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 100 grams or more of heroin, and distribution of cocaine and of heroin and help and complicity.

Court documents presented to law enforcement show that in 2019, Holmes received a large amount of drugs at the home of Johnny Holmes, EJ’s cousin. From April to September 2019, Holmes unknowingly distributed several ounces of heroin and cocaine to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, as several controlled purchases had been made by officers.

The press release reveals that on April 29, 2019, after a controlled purchase of cocaine and heroin, an officer stopped a vehicle with Holmes on board – his cousin was the passenger. The police confiscated the money used in previous controlled purchases.

Law enforcement said in the statement that Holmes sold more than three kilograms of cocaine and more than 100 grams of heroin from December 2018 until his arrest. Holmes unsuccessfully asked his cousin to write a letter to law enforcement explaining that EJ Holmes was not involved in the crimes he was accused of.

Due to previous federal convictions and his felony status, Holmes was also sentenced to 21 months for a 2004 charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and 76 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine in 2006.

Her cousin, Johnny, was sentenced to 56 months for distributing heroin and cocaine.

Holmes’ investigation was part of Operation “Ahab’s Harpoon,” the statement said – “as part of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OECDTF). The OECDTF identifies , disrupts and dismantles the highest level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the forces of federal, state and local law enforcement against criminal networks.

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