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eastern north carolina methamphetamine distribution organization dismantled “Operation speed bump”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2014

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced the recent sentencing of a group of targets in an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) prosecution focusing on methamphetamine production in Johnston, Sampson and Wayne Counties in the Eastern District of North Carolina.  The results of this indictment in the larger investigation, code named Operation SPEED BUMP, was a total of 16 convictions and the sentencing of those defendants.  This drug trafficking organization operated in Johnston, Sampson and Wayne Counties since at least 2008 and was responsible for manufacturing large amounts of domestically produced methamphetamine. 

Mr. Walker stated, “These defendants created havoc on the law-abiding residents in the area by their distribution of large amounts of methamphetamine.  My office stands ready to prosecute organizations like this to the full extent of the law.”

“Meth brings violence and addiction to our communities, and North Carolina law enforcement at all levels is committed to rooting out the criminals who make and deal this dangerous drug.  We’re making a dent in North Carolina’s meth problem through cases like this one,” Attorney General Roy Cooper stated.

To date, 78 methamphetamine cooks and significant precursor purchasers have been prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office as part of Operation SPEED BUMP. In October of 2012, a grand jury in this District returned a twenty-four count indictment against sixteen individuals involved in this methamphetamine production ring.  All sixteen of those individuals have been sentenced.  Six of these individuals were from Johnston County, six were from Sampson County and four were from Wayne County.  They traveled throughout the District to buy pseudoephedrine, steal anhydrous ammonia, and cook methamphetamine.  This group is responsible for purchasing over five (5) kilograms of pseudoephedrine for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine and the ultimate production of almost five (5) kilos of methamphetamine.  This group possessed multiple firearms during the course of this conspiracy.

Sentences in these cases range from 81 months to 360 months imprisonment.  See the attached list of individual defendants and their sentences.  Operation SPEED BUMP is an on-going investigation into domestic methamphetamine production that has been ongoing since 2008 and has spanned at least 15 counties in the Eastern District of North Carolina to date.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Special Services Unit leads a multi-agency, collaborative effort to target methamphetamine production in the Eastern District of North Carolina.  Other agencies involved in this portion of the investigation included the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer E. Wells prosecuted the cases for the government.

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