News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

FRIDAY - March 19, 2010

FORMER POLICE OFFICER RECEIVES FEDERAL SENTENCE

FOR DRUG DISTRIBUTION

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced MICHAEL CARL STEVENSON, 46, of Wilmington, North Carolina, to 121 months’ imprisonment followed by five years supervised release.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on May 7, 2009. On December 3, 2009, a federal jury found STEVENSON guilty of conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

According to evidence presented at trial, on November 26, 2007, the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and informed that, co-defendant, Robert Ed Beatty, Jr., a known drug dealer who has served time in state prison on drug charges, wanted to come to Richmond County to buy half a kilogram of cocaine and bring his brother, STEVENSON, and uncle. A controlled buy was

arranged for the following day. When they met up in a parking lot, there were three men in the car; Beatty, STEVENSON and co-defendant James Patterson. Once it was determined by each party that the money and the drugs were present, the exchange location was moved. Once the cars began to move, law enforcement moved in to make the arrest.

It was learned that STEVENSON, a police officer with the Burgaw Police Department at the time, had rented the car in Wilmington, in which the three defendants had traveled. Further evidence presented at trial revealed that three Narco kits were found in the rental vehicle for the purpose of testing drugs, which had been given to Beatty by his brother, STEVENSON. STEVENSON traveled with Beatty and Patterson to provide cover for the drug purchase so that if the three were stopped by law enforcement he could show his badge to the officer in the hopes of being allowed to pass without being searched. Trial evidence also showed that STEVENSON was in possession of a police cell phone, which was a duty phone not to be taken out of the area, on which he called in and ran the plate number of the other vehicle.

Testimony at trial revealed that STEVENSON had previously stored narcotics at his residence for Beatty to avoid detection by law enforcement and that STEVENSON profited from it.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, and the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Denise Walker represented the government.

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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