Armed Drug Trafficker Receives 10 Years in Federal Prison
WILMINGTON — United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that United States Judge District James C. Dever III sentenced GERICK TURNER, 41, of New Hanover County to 120 months’ imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
On April 15, 2019, TURNER pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine and a quantity of heroin, a separate count of possession with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
On September 4, 2018, narcotics officers with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office received information that TURNER was transporting narcotics from Charlotte to Wilmington, North Carolina. Detectives performed a traffic stop on his rental car in Wilmington. After a trained K-9 detected the odor of narcotics emitting from the car, TURNER acknowledged to the officer that they were going to find drugs. A search of the vechible resulted in the discovery of more than more than 900 grams of cocaine, 50 grams of crack cocaine and 965 bags of heroin.
On September 5, 2018, New Hanover County Detectives searched TURNER’S residence in Wilmington and found an additional 30 grams of heroin, a loaded .44 caliber handgun and packaging material and a cutting agent used in the distribution of heroin and crack cocaine.
This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
This case is also part of the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Coastal Carolina Continuing Criminal Enterprise Task Force which includes task force officers from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Wilmington Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Division. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.