FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY - September 17, 2008
WILMINGTON MAN RECEIVED 5-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE
FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court here today United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced SHANNON CANTRELL BULLARD, 35, of Wilmington, North Carolina, to 60 months’ imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on January 23, 2008 charging conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. On July 7, 2008, BULLARD pled guilty to the charge. During the investigation, law enforcement learned that BULLARD had made between 10 to 15 trips to Atlanta and South Carolina, between early 2005 and November, 2005, to pick up at least one kilogram of cocaine each trip. BULLARD would then distribute the cocaine to dealers in the Wilmington, North Carolina area.
On January 19, 2006, Louisiana State Police conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 20 in Louisiana. The car driven by Shawn Vincent, a co-defendant, contained 6.9 kilograms of cocaine in a hidden compartment. Vincent assisted the police and transported the narcotics to Lacy Tate, another co-defendant, in Wilmington North Carolina. Law enforcement removed all but one kilogram and replaced the remainder with a counterfeit substance. Tate, unaware that he was under surveillance, then drove the car to an apartment for where he was eventually met by BULLARD. BULLARD was found with $5,000 cash. Law enforcement found during a search of BULLARD’s residence the following items: 17 grams of crack, 4 firearms include on with a partially obliterated serial number, and several items used to convert cocaine into crack cocaine.
“Drug traffickers are using our nation’s transportation system to distribute their deadly product. This case shows how cooperative law enforcement can be effective at interdicting this distribution,” stated Mr. Holding.
This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation entitled Seven Day Ground. This organization has been responsible for the importation and distribution of over 350 kilograms of cocaine and one kilogram of heroin. This is an ongoing investigation. Thus far 14 defendants have pled guilty in federal court.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the New Hanover Sheriff’s Office, the Wilmington Police Department and the Louisiana State Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted the case. 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.