FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
TUESDAY - July 8, 2008
WILMINGTON DRUG TRAFFICKER RECEIVES 128 MONTHS IN PRISON
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt sentenced LEONARD MAURICE WARD, 31, of Wilmington, North Carolina, to 128 months’ imprisonment and five years supervised release following his term of imprisonment. Judge Britt also imposed restitution in the amount of $550.
On February 7, 2008, a Criminal Information was filed charging WARD with two counts of distribution of more than five grams of cocaine base (crack). On March 17, 2008, WARD pled guilty to those charges.
On July 28, 2005 and August 5, 2005, WARD sold cocaine base to an agent of the government. Following the second narcotics transaction, WARD introduced the agent to a third party. On October 12, 2005, that third person sold a 9mm handgun and cocaine base to the government agent.
WARD had three prior convictions for sale of cocaine or possession with the intent to sell cocaine.
Mr. Holding commented, “This case reminds us all of the tough work by investigators, which focuses every day on eliminating drug traffickers and the poison they pedal in our communities.”
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the New Hanover Sheriff’s Department. The United States was represented by Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo. Mr. Severo is a prosecutor with the New Hanover District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Ben David has assigned him to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force criminal matters. This has been made possible by a grant funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission and the New Hanover County Commissioners.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.