News and Press Releases


FRIDAY - September 24, 2009


RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on September 22, 2009,United Stated District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced SHAUN ALEXANDER POWELL, of Wilmington, North Carolina to 216 months’ imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release.

On January 29, 2009, a Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment. On April 20, 2009, POWELL pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base (crack).

On April 2, 2008 POWELL was stopped by the Wilmington Police Department and found in possession of a quantity of crack cocaine and $2,275. On July 31, 2008, an agent for the government arranged to purchase an ounce of crack cocaine from POWELL in Wilmington, North Carolina. Law Enforcement attempted to stop POWELL’s car when he arrived. POWELL observed the police approach and attempted the flee. The defendant drove through an apartment complex and struck a tree. Found in the car was 26 grams of crack cocaine and $836.

The investigation revealed that POWELL was responsible for distributing more than two kilograms of crack cocaine and an additional two kilograms of cocaine from 2005 until the time of his arrest.

This case was brought as a 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, Ecstasy and gang activity associated with this distribution. This organization is responsible for the importation and distribution of more than 200 kilograms of cocaine, more than 50 kilograms of crack cocaine, 3 kilograms of heroin, 20,000 Ecstacy pills and several kilograms of marijuana being imported and distributed into Eastern North Carolina since 2003. To date, 18 people have been sentenced in federal court as a part of this operation.

Investigation of this OCEDTF is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the Federal Bureau of Investigations Safe Streets Task Force (Wilmington); the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations; the Wilmington Police Department; the New Hanover Sheriff’s Department; the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department; the Duplin County Sheriff’s Department; the Pender County Sheriff’s Department; the Holly Ridge Police Department; the Top Sail Police Department; and the Surf City Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo represents 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.

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