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Press Release

Armed Harnett County Drug Trafficker Involved in a Kidnapping Sentenced to 15 Years

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – An armed methamphetamine and cocaine trafficker from Dunn was sentenced to 180 months for drug trafficking and firearm charges after holding a victim at gunpoint. On August 22, 2023, Deandre Coleman, age 42, pled guilty to the charges.

“Drug traffickers the world over try to use kidnapping and intimidation to impose their will on their communities.  We won’t allow it in North Carolina,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley.  “Coleman kidnapped a woman and held her at gunpoint in furtherance of his cocaine and meth trafficking scheme.  Our Violent Crime Strategy targets violent drug traffickers like Coleman for federal prosecution and we aren’t backing down.  I’m grateful to my law enforcement partners for keeping North Carolina safe.”    

“The successful conviction of Deandre Coleman highlights how teamwork among different law enforcement groups can tackle drug and violent crimes,” said Dunn Police Chief Cary Johnson. “Dunn is lucky to have a strong working relationship with Federal agencies like the ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office, which helped achieve this result. The Dunn Police Department and its partners are dedicated to keeping Dunn a safe and welcoming place for everyone who lives in, works in, or visits the area.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), along with the Harnett and Johnston County Sheriffs’ Offices, and the Dunn Police Department were involved in an undercover investigation of drug activity by Coleman. Working together, law enforcement executed multiple controlled purchases of both methamphetamine and guns, including a 9mm rifle with a high-capacity magazine and a shotgun with a drum magazine.

Coleman received an enhancement at sentencing for using force to restrain a person in connection with his drug trafficking. The enhancement stemmed from a June 13, 2022, response to a reported kidnapping. That investigation revealed that Coleman, and multiple others, held a victim at gunpoint while driving the victim around in a car. The victim was kidnapped because Coleman thought the victim had knowledge about a recent robbery of Coleman's drugs and drug proceeds.  After the kidnapping, Coleman was stopped by Raleigh Police while driving the vehicle that had been used in the kidnapping. A search of the vehicle uncovered a loaded firearm with a high-capacity magazine, nearly $10,000 in cash, 70 grams of marijuana, 14 grams of THC wax, 17 grams of “moon rocks” or cannabis dipped in hashish oil, and a ski mask.

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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office, Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, and the Dunn and Raleigh Police Departments investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tyler Lemons  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. 5:22-cr-00281-BO.


Updated December 12, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses