LYNCHBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A North Carolina man who led a drug trafficking ring that distributed narcotics into Lynchburg and the greater central Virginia region has been sentenced to 27 years and six months in federal prison.

According to court documents, 45-year-old Jermel Lawrence Storey, a former Lynchburg resident, led and organized a widespread drug trafficking organization between 2016 and 2021. The organization imported large quantities of cocaine into the Lynchburg area from Houston, Texas through Charlotte, North Carolina.

Storey later moved to Charlotte and continued his drug-dealing conspiracy. His co-conspirators would meet Storey in Charlotte to collect the drugs and then return to Lynchburg to sell them throughout central Virginia.

Storey often threatened violence or intimidated others involved in the trafficking operation, including using guns on video calls and when people visited him in person. When his co-conspirators did not comply with his demands, Storey threatened to harm them and their family members.

Storey was ultimately held responsible for distributing more than 150 kilograms of cocaine, valued at more than $4.5 million, into the Lynchburg area.

Storey was arrested on January 2021 and pled guilty in July 2022 to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute and distributing cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute and distributing 500 grams or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

On Thursday, Jan. 5, Storey was sentenced to a total of 27 and a half years in prison for his charges.