News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

TUESDAY - January 6, 2009

WILMINGTON MAN SENTENCED IN DRUG/FIREARM CASE

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court here today United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced MICHAEL ALEXIS COVINGTON, 41, of Wilmington, North Carolina, to 72 months’ imprisonment followed by eight years supervised release.

A Criminal Information was filed on May 1, 2008. On October 6, 2008, COVINGTON pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute 500 or more grams of cocaine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The investigation revealed that between early 2006, and January, 2007, COVINGTON purchased approximately eight kilograms of powder cocaine over a seven- to eight-month period. Also on September 7, 2005, Wilmington Police arranged a controlled buy where COVINGTON sold 4.0 grams of crack. On September 16, 2005, another controlled purchase was arranged in which COVINGTON sold 2.9 grams of crack. On February 1, 2007, a search of COVINGTON’s residence revealed 668 grams of powder cocaine, $17,000, a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and a stolen Ruger 9mm handgun were found.

This investigation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation entitle, Seven Day Ground. The investigation has uncovered organizations in Atlanta, Georgia and Houston, Texas that have been responsible for the importation of over 300 kilograms of cocaine and one kilogram of heroin into Eastern North Carolina and Virginia. To date, as a result of the investigation, 11 people have been sentenced in federal court, including Gratiniano Castillo, who received 480 months and Lacy Tate, and Shahzan Mathur who each received 240 month imprisonment.

Mr. Holding commented: “Today’s sentencing marks another important step in the dismantling of this interstate drug trafficking operation. I want to thank the dedicated investigators and prosecutors who have worked so hard on this case. They truly are making the people of Eastern North Carolina safer.”

Investigation of the case was conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department and the Wilmington Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo represented the Government. 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.

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