News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - June 10, 2010

HAMPSTEAD MAN SENTENCED IN DRUG CASE

GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on June 8, 2010, Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced ANDREW STEVEN HASSELL JR., 35, of Hampstead, North Carolina, to 84 months’ imprisonment followed by five years supervised release.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on December 22, 2009. On March 4, 2010, HASSELL pled guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and a quantity of cocaine.

On September 28, 2009, HASSELL was arrested by New Hanover County Sheriff’s detectives after he was observed receiving cocaine. HASSELL was in possession of 125 grams of crack cocaine and 125 grams of powder cocaine. The investigation showed that HASSELL was responsible for distributing more than 15 kilograms of cocaine and more than 1 and ½ kilograms of crack cocaine.

This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation entitled Don Quoxite, investigating importers and multi-level distributors of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy and gang activity associated with this distribution. This organization is responsible for the importation and distribution of more than 250 kilograms of cocaine, more than 66 kilograms of crack cocaine, 3 kilograms of heroin, 20,000 Ecstacy pills and several kilograms of marijuana into Eastern North Carolina since 2003. To date, 36 people have been sentenced in federal court as part of this operation.

Investigation of this case 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 Investigation; the Wilmington Police Department; the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office; the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office; the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office; the Pender County Sheriff’s Office; 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.

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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