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Thursday - June 30, 2005

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that JOHN KENNEDY SWEAT was sentenced in federal court in Wilmington on Monday, May 16, 2005, for conspiracy to distribute drugs and using a firearm during a drug trafficking offense. Senior U. S. District Judge James C. Fox imposed a sentence of 352 months imprisonment and five years of supervised release. Also,SWEAT forfeited to the United States $25,000.00, the proceeds of his illegal acts. He received an enhanced sentence due to the fact that he had several prior felony convictions.

SWEAT, 25, of Lumberton, N. C., was indicted by a federal grand jury in Wilmington on October 27, 2004. He pled guilty on January 18, 2005, to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine, as well as cocaine and marijuana, and carrying and possessing a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking crime. The remaining charges of possession of a firearm after he had been convicted of a felony and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and more than five grams of crack cocaine were dismissed at sentencing, pursuant to the terms of his plea agreement.

According to official documents and evidence presented in court: In response to several citizen complaints of drug activity in the neighborhood, local law enforcement conducted surveillance of SWEAT's residence and witnessed numerous drug transactions made by SWEAT. Evidence showed that he had been involved in drug trafficking for more than two years.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Lumberton Police Department, the N. C. State Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Task Force. Assistant U. S. Attorney Kimberly A. Moore prosecuted the case for the United States.

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