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Press Release

Armed Drug Trafficker Receives 135 Months for Distributing Drugs and Discharging a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Marlon Porter, 51, of Wilmington, was sentenced yesterday to 135 months in prison for armed trafficking of cocaine base (crack), cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.  On March 13, 2023, Porter pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine and quantities of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl; possession of a quantity of crack cocaine, cocaine and fentanyl; possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking; and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

“Our men and women continue to work tirelessly day in and day out to protect the City of Wilmington,” said Wilmington Police Chief Donnie Williams. “I am extremely grateful for their continued dedication to ensuring that justice is delivered. I appreciate the partnership with the various agencies who assisted with this case to bring it to a close. We will continue to patrol the streets to remove violent offenders and send them to prison where they belong.” said Wilmington Police Chief Donnie Williams.

“ATF and our law enforcement partners focus on those individuals who pose the biggest threat to our communities,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Bennie Mims. “Our collaborative efforts continue to disrupt drug trafficking networks, recover firearms from illegal possessors, apprehend violent offenders, and better public safety in our neighborhoods.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, on June 26, 2019, a Wilmington Police Officer and a New Hanover County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to multiple gun shots in the area of Gores Row and Orange Streets in Wilmington.  They observed Marlon Porter running across the street.  Porter did not initially respond to commands to stop and ran around a corner.  Porter then came back into their sight and surrendered. After searching the area, law enforcement found a stolen 9mm handgun cocked and ready to fire. Law enforcement also observed Porter’s brother, George Porter, reaching into a car in the area. Law enforcement searched the car and found a loaded .380 handgun under the front seat.  In addition, numerous shell casings were recovered by law enforcement near the area in which Porter had been observed running from.  On July 16, 2019, law enforcement made a controlled purchase from Porter at a Glenn Street address used by Porter as a stash house.

On September 23, 2019, Wilmington Police Officers responded to a welfare check in a hotel parking lot on Eastwood Road.  Officers saw Marlon Porter and another man asleep in a BMW.  As they approached Porter, he threw two ounces of cocaine across the car.   A search of the car uncovered crack, fentanyl, multiple wax baggies, digital scales, almost $4,000 and a loaded .357 revolver.  Officers discovered that Porter was associated with a room at the hotel.  Inside the hotel room, officers found six grams of fentanyl, crack and items used to make crack. 

On December 13, 2019, New Hanover County Narcotics detectives received information that Porter was selling drugs from the Baymont Inn in Wilmington.  Following this, detectives arrested an individual in possession of heroin in the area of South 15th street. The individual had a room key for the Baymont Inn.  Law enforcement went to the room and stopped a female leaving the room with five bindles of fentanyl.  Upon entry of the room, they found Porter on the bed, and a search of the room found a .45 caliber handgun, three grams of fentanyl, digital scales and almost $2,000.  Law enforcement searched Porter’s jeep which was parked in front of the room and found a small amount of fentanyl and a stolen 9mm handgun and digital scales.

Porter has prior North Carolina State convictions for Possession of a controlled substance within 300 feet of a School (1994), Selling Cocaine (2012) Attempted Common Law Robbery and Assault Inflicting Bodily Injury (2012).

This is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launders, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Wilmington Police Department and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo  prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:20-cr-00029-M-1.

Updated July 11, 2023