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Press Release

Armed Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 144 Months in Prison After Investigation Spurred by Community Complaints

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – Joseph Bernard White, 46, of Jacksonville, NC, was sentenced today to 144 months in prison for distribution of fentanyl and methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.  On October 4, 2022, White pled guilty to the charges.

“Residents of Jacksonville were courageous in reporting suspected drug trafficking to law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “Thanks to their tips, an armed drug trafficker is off the streets and behind bars for the next twelve years.”

"The arrest and prosecution of White was a direct result of the cooperation between the community, law enforcement and prosecutors,” commented Onslow County Sheriff Chris Thomas.  “Cooperation with community and our fellow law enforcement partners along with education are key to combating the drug epidemic."

According to court documents and other information presented in court, community complaints about suspected drug trafficking at a home in Jacksonville led to an investigation resulting in the seizure of drugs, drug proceeds, and multiple firearms. Between November 2020 and March 2021, White repeatedly distributed fentanyl and methamphetamine from his home. On March 5, 2021, officers searched the home and found methamphetamine, fentanyl, six guns, and nearly $4,000 in cash.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Caroline Webb and Nicholas Hartigan 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. 7:22-CR-73.

Updated February 8, 2023