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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - March 31, 2011

FAYETTEVILLE DRUG DEALER SENTENCED FOR GUN AND DRUG CHARGES

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced MICHAEL LEONARD WOODARD, JR., 30, of Carthage, North Carolina, to 180 months’ imprisonment followed by five years supervised release.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on June 16, 2010. On November 16, 2010, WOODARD pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute a quantity of marijuana and Ecstasy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. According to the investigation, law enforcement learned of drug traffickers in the Fayetteville area who would rent out hotel room for the purpose of distributing illegal drugs. On August 3, 2008, a traffic stop was initiated by a Fayetteville police officer. The vehicle, having emerged from the parking lot of the Regency Hotel, was found to have marijuana residue in a door panel and the occupants had several hundred dollars on them. Through questioning, it was revealed that the vehicle occupants had just finished visiting WOODARD in his hotel room at the Regency.

Officers proceeded to WOODARD’s room. When WOODARD lead an officer into his room to retrieve identification, the officer saw marijuana and drug packaging materials. A search of the room revealed Ecstasy pills, $1,663.00 in cash, marijuana, digital scales and a loaded Ruger P95, 9mm handgun.

This case was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods(PSN) initiative which encourages federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified “team effort” against gun crime, targeting repeat offenders who continually plague their communities.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Fayetteville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes 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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