On December 17, several North Carolina residents were sentenced for their participation in a heroin and marijuana ring operating out of Craven County. The defendants were arrested following a multi-year investigation by federal, state and local authorities.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, the investigation focused on a drug trafficking ring run by two New Bern men, ages 34 and 36. The men had apparently been ordering large amounts of heroin from New York and having is transported down to North Carolina for several years. The heroin was then distributed for sale to multiple mid- and low-level drug dealers in the New Bern area.

To gather evidence, law enforcement officers conducted a series of undercover drug purchases from drug dealers in the group between November 2016 and July 2017. Officers also observed the dealers with drugs and guns during traffic stops and other encounters. Based on this information, federal officers obtained a warrant for a wiretap on the cell phone of the 34-year-old ringleader and others. This led to an October 2017 drug bust that yielded 3 pounds of marijuana and 7 bars of a heroin cutting agent. During the course of the entire investigation, authorities seized more than a kilogram of heroin and 20 firearms.

The 34-year-old defendant was convicted of multiple drug distribution crimes and faces at least 20 years in prison. The 36-year-old defendant was also convicted of multiple drug distribution crimes and was sentenced to 360 months in prison. Fourteen other defendants have also been convicted as a result of the investigation. Most of them were sentenced on December 17.

Individuals facing drug trafficking charges could be sentenced to years in prison and heavy fines. However, a criminal defense attorney could represent a defendant in court and work to protect his or her future.

Source: WCTI 12, “Multiple New Bern residents sentenced in multi-year drug conspiracy investigation,” Tyler Hardin, December 17, 2018