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Press Release

Armed Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 8 Years on Federal Drug and Firearms Offenses

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

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – A Tarboro  man was sentenced to 96 months in prison for armed drug trafficking. On March 5, 2024, Drako Butler, age 35, pled guilty to the charges.

“Narcotics, guns, and money are a recipe for disaster,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley.  “This Tarboro drug trafficker was heavily armed, stocked with narcotics, and flush with cash when officers searched his property.  Searches turned up eleven guns, including assault rifles and a fifty-round drum magazine, alongside all the hallmarks of a committed drug trafficker – digital scales, money counters, and a hoard of narcotics.  Drug traffickers should take note - our partnerships in Nash and Edgecombe Counties have never been stronger and federal crimes mean federal time.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Butler became the subject of an investigation after Nash County Sheriff’s Office Deputies stopped his vehicle on May 31, 2023, and found cocaine, marijuana, marijuana edibles (THC), and a 9mm semi-automatic firearm loaded with 24 rounds of ammunition. Following that stop, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Nash and Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Offices, and the Tarboro and Rocky Mount Police Department (RMPD) executed a search warrant on Butler’s residence on June 6, 2023. Inside, they found cocaine, methamphetamine, psilocin, marijuana; more than $26,000 in cash; six firearms (four AR-style rifles, a shotgun, and a pistol), an undetermined number of orange-colored pills, six digital scales, a money counter, six glass pipes, and counterfeit currency. Butler admitted to dealing marijuana after his arrest on June 6, 2023, but was released on bond.

On November 29, 2023, law enforcement officers searched Butler’s new residence while executing a federal arrest warrant for the drugs and guns found during the June search. Officers found more than 15 pounds of marijuana, along with cocaine and five more firearms (a 5.56 caliber rifle, a .22 long rifle caliber rifle, a 10mm handgun, a 9mm handgun with an obliterated serial number, and a 50-round drum loaded magazine, and a 9mm handgun with an extended magazine), assorted ammunition, six $100 bills of counterfeit currency, digital scales, a money counter, and glass pipes. Butler again admitted to investigators that he sold marijuana.

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 DEA, the Nash and Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Offices, and the Tarboro and Rocky Mount Police Departments investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Aubart  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. 4:23-cr-00063-BO-RN.



Updated June 17, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses