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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - March 3, 2011

JURY FINDS WILMINGTON DRUG TRAFFICKER GUILTY

GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on March 2, 2011, a jury found RUSHAUN NECKO PARKER, of Wilmington, North Carolina, guilty of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base, distribution of 50 grams or more of cocaine base, distribution of 5 grams or more of cocaine base, possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and conspiring to commit money laundering. PARKER will be sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard on June 14, 2011.

According to evidence presented at trial, beginning in October, 2009, a joint task force including the Federal Bureau of Investigations Safe Streets Unit, the Wilmington Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms began an investigation focusing on PARKER’s criminal activity. The investigation began after officers observed pictures of PARKER on the internet and conducted interviews of individuals involved in selling crack cocaine.

On November 9, 2009, a controlled buy of 60 grams of crack cocaine was purchased from PARKER for $1,800 at his residence in Wilmington, North Carolina. Again, on December 1, 2009, a controlled purchase of 27 grams of crack cocaine was made from PARKER at the same address.

On January 27, 2010, members of the FBI S.W.A.T Operations Unit, the Safe Street Unit and the Wilmington Police Department took part in the serving of a search warrant at PARKER’s residence. The SWAT team was utilized because of PARKER’S history with firearms. PARKER was found asleep in his room when law enforcement made their entry into the residence. An AKS rifle was found in close proximity to where PARKER was sleeping. In a bathroom next to his bedroom, officer found 72 grams of crack cocaine.

PARKER told law enforcement that he had been using part of the proceeds from his illegal drug sale to maintain the residence in which he was storing the crack cocaine. He additional had someone title his Mercedes-Benz in their name. PARKER also told law enforcement that he had money and guns buried but they would never find them.

At trial a video was presented which was captured from the internet by the Wilmington Police Department after his arrest, that showed PARKER throwing more than $24,000 into a bathroom sink. The video also showed large amounts of United States currency spread across the floor. This was the same floor that 72 grams of crack had been retrieved from.

The investigation showed that PARKER was cooking powder cocaine into crack cocaine and was responsible for distributing more than five kilograms of cocaine base into Eastern North Carolina.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation entitled Don Quixote, 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 350 kilograms of cocaine, more than 130 kilograms of crack cocaine, 3 kilograms of heroin, 20,000 Ecstacy pills and more than 20 kilograms of marijuana into Eastern North Carolina since 2003. To date, 49 people have been sentenced in federal court as a part of this operation.The investigation 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 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 Topsail 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.

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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