News and Press Releases


MONDAY - September 15, 2008


RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced KENNETH REX WHITLEY, 53, of Middlesex, North Carolina, to 156 months’ imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release. The Court also imposed restitution in the amount $22,800.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on March 6, 2008.On April 21, 2008, WHITLEY pled guilty to conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

From June 5, 2007, to September 12, 2007, investigators made controlled buys of illegal drugs with WHITLEY. On September 26, 2007, a search warrant was executed on his residence. Found during the search was over 2.4 kilograms of cocaine, a cocaine press, scales and packaging materials, three firearms, $8,517 in currency and 426.5 grams of marijuana. During the investigation officers also learned that WHITLEY was responsible for the distribution of more than 25 pounds of cocaine between 2000 and 2007. That cocaine had a street value of more than $500,000.

Mr. Holding commented: “The defendant was responsible for the distribute of large quantities of cocaine over the last six to seven years. The Court’s sentence sends a strong message that we cannot and will not tolerate drug trafficking in our communities.”

The government is seeking forfeiture of seized property that includes $44,517.00 in currency, $56,353.00 in currency that constitutes the tax appraised value of a 6.62 acre tract, a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe, a 1987 Chevrolet truck, a black 1972 Chevrolet truck, a 1970 Chevrolet Corvette, a 1966 Harley Davidson motorcycle, a 2000 Harley Davidson motorcycle, a 1982 Chevrolet Corvette, and a 1957 Chevrolet sedan.

This case is part of the Eastforce investigation Cold Wind in which approximately 15 individuals have been prosecuted. Investigation of the case was conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Nash County Sheriff’s Department, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department and the Wilson Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes served as prosecutor for the government.


News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at within 48 hours of release.

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