News and Press Releases


WEDNESDAY - July 22, 2009


RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced EZAU YANEZ-HERNANDEZ, 30, of Wilmington, North Carolina, to 156 months’ imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on September 24, 2008. On January 12, 2009, YANEZ-HERNANDEZ pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and possession of a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking offense.

On December 17, 2007, New Hanover County detectives stopped YANEZ-HERNANDEZ at the intersection of Third and Dawson Street in Wilmington, North Carolina, while he was transporting four ounces of cocaine. A search of YANEZ-HERNANDEZ uncovered that he was in possession of 125 grams of cocaine, a loaded handgun, and $9,553.00. Following the arrest of YANEZ-HERNANDEZ, a search warrant was served on a residence in Wilmington where he was staying. Found during the search were items used for the storage and distribution of cocaine and an SKS assault rifle. The investigation revealed that YANEZ-HERNANDEZ was responsible for possessing with the intent to distribute and distributing over five kilograms of cocaine.

This case was brought as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation entitled Don Quixote, investigating importers and multi-level distributors of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin in Eastern North Carolina. To date, 14 people have pled guilty and been sentenced in federal court.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Street Division; The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; the North Carolina Highway Patrol; the New Hanover Sheriff’s Department, the Wilmington Police Department, the Pender County Sheriff’s Department; the Duplin County Sheriff’s Department; the Holly Ridge Police Department; the Surf City Police Department; and the Top Sail Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo and Assistant United States Attorney Brian S Meyers 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 within 48 hours of release.

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