An Enfield man was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release upon completion of the sentence for distributing cocaine and marijuana, court records show.
Proceedings in the case of Antonio “Yay-Yo” Nicholson were held via telephone because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to court records.
Chief Judge Terrence W. Boyle also assessed a $200 penalty and remanded Nicholson into custody.
Nicholson entered a guilty plea in December to counts 1 and 2 in his case.
In count 1, Nicholson pleaded guilty to knowingly and intentionally distributing a quantity of cocaine around June 19 and in count 2 he pleaded guilty to knowingly and intentionally possessing marijuana with intent to distribute around June 20.
The drug bust the indictment was based on occurred in the Enfield area on June 20, the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office said at the time.
It was complaints based on the former federal inmate selling drugs which launched an investigation by Agent D.J. Epperson.
During the search of the residence agents located and seized cocaine, approximately 198 grams of marijuana, a handgun and several items of drug paraphernalia.
Nicholson, 37 at the time, was charged not only on counts related to the search warrant but on warrants Epperson obtained when Nicholson sold cocaine during a controlled buy on June 19.
Originally, Nicholson was released from federal custody on June 15, 2018.
He had been sentenced to 270 months of federal custody in April of 2008 and was to serve five years of supervised release upon the completion of his incarceration.
In February of 2007 he was indicted for knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully combining and conspiring with other persons to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, according to the original indictment.
In an order addressing the sentencing by telephone, Boyle wrote, Nicholson had waived his right to be physically present in the courtroom.
In accordance with the CARES Act, Boyle wrote, “ … the Court further finds that for specific reasons the sentencing in this case could not be further delayed without serious harm to the interests of justice. Specifically, it served the ends of justice to proceed without (the) defendant being physically present in the courtroom in order to avoid the unprecedented and unacceptable health risk to (the) defendant, the attorneys, and all court staff caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”