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Press Release

Craven County Gang Member Receives 15 Years in Federal Prison for Role in Drug Trafficking Organization

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – Eric Best, also known as “Slime,” 24, of New Bern was sentenced today to 180 months in prison for trafficking methamphetamine and fentanyl.  The investigation revealed that from March 2019, until December 2022, Best was involved in the distribution of more than two kilograms of methamphetamine and more than 500 grams of fentanyl.  Best pled guilty to the charges on October 4, 2022.

According to court documents, evidence presented in court, and other evidence, on April 26, 2019, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop on a car in Craven County.  Law enforcement found four guns including an assault rifle and $8,000. Best was one of three people in the car.  It was later determined that they were going to New Jersey to sell the guns.

On December 22, 2020, the New Bern Police conducted a traffic stop on a car being driven by Best.  An officer noticed the odor of marijuana.  During a search, officers located 74 grams of fentanyl and 27 grams of methamphetamine inside of the car and on a passenger.  The investigation uncovered that Best had instructed the passenger to hide the drugs. According to law enforcement, Best is a validated gang member and held a position of leadership in the Pretty Tony Blood gang.

This is part of operation “Jersey South” which is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (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 U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Craven and Granville County Sheriffs’ Offices, and the New Bern Police Department investigated the case. Additionally, the Craven County District Attorney’s Office and the District Attorney Scott Thomas assisted with the case. 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. 4:21-CR-0053-D-4.


Updated March 30, 2023

Drug Trafficking