GREENVILLE – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that on October 18, 2017 in federal court, GENESIS LEE WHITTED, JR., a 28-year-old male resident of Fayetteville, was convicted following a three-day trial before Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard. The jury found WHITTED guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine base, six substantive distribution charges, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
A Grand Jury in the Eastern District of North Carolina indicted WHITTED on December 21, 2016 for conduct that occurred in 2015.
The evidence at trial showed that the WHITTED was the leader of a drug trafficking organization that regularly trafficked cocaine base (crack) throughout Fayetteville. The group used multiple locations, including a car wash on Pamalee Drive, for their drug distribution activities.
Witnesses testified that WHITTED regularly cooked powder cocaine into cocaine base, and that the Defendant was regularly armed with a handgun during his drug trafficking activities. On his chest, the Defendant even had a tattoo of a Pyrex measuring cup and a box of baking soda--both of which are used to “cook” powder cocaine into cocaine base.
During the fall of 2015, the Fayetteville Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a complex investigation of WHITTED’s drug operation, including electronic surveillance, physical surveillance, and controlled purchases of cocaine base from the WHITTED and others.
On November 18, 2015, WHITTED distributed cocaine base and possessed a firearm in furtherance of his drug distribution. WHITTED was recorded bragging that he had a “pocket rocket,” and that even though the gun was small, it was effective enough to kill someone if you shot the person twice in the chest. He also bragged that if he was stopped by the police, he would be able to throw the gun quickly before the police found it. Mr. Higdon said: “The Whitted drug trafficking organization was responsible for trafficking significant quantities of cocaine and crack in Fayetteville, and they protected their illegal business with guns. Mr. Whitted boldly challenged the community and law enforcement with threats of violence. I want to commend the FBI and the Fayetteville Police Department for their important work in this case. Prosecutions like this across the Eastern District will be key to reducing our crime rate and making our communities safer.”
“The outcome of this investigation furthers law enforcement's commitment to reducing crime and keeping the community safe. The hard work of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies is a testament to what persistence will do with a career criminal who had been plaguing the City of Fayetteville” said Fayetteville Chief of Police Gina V. Hawkins.
WHITTED was the last of his co-conspirators to be found guilty. Co-defendants Wayne Whitted and Joel McLaurin previously entered pleas of guilty and have been sentenced. WHITTED faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten years, with a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
The case was investigated by the Fayetteville Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Scott Lemmon and Special Assistant United States Attorney Boz Zellinger represented the government in this case.