Federal Jury Finds Man Guilty of Drug and Explosive Offenses
NEW BERN – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that Wednesday, a federal jury in New Bern found JAMES CURTIS DENTON guilty of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine and possession and transportation of an explosive by a drug user with the intent to injure or kill an individual.
DENTON was named in a superseding indictment originally filed on May 3, 2016, which included a drug conspiracy with four co-defendants and other drug offenses. He was arrested shortly thereafter. While in custody and after further investigation, DENTON was named in a second superseding indictment including the explosive charges on August 2, 2016.
In the early morning of May 28, 2015, an improvised explosive device (IED) constructed of PVC pipe, black powder, and pellets was affixed under the vehicle of DENTON’S ex-spouse’s boyfriend’s vehicle. Later that day, the IED exploded as the victim was driving down a neighborhood street. Fortunately, the victim was unharmed. During the investigation, it was discovered that DENTON was involved in drug use, and, as the drug investigation continued, evidence regarding DENTON’s motive to place the IED was revealed. Investigators and the federal prosecutor were able to tie DENTON to the IED based on the statements and interviews of multiple witnesses, including a co-defendant who accompanied DENTON to the neighborhood when he placed the IED.
At sentencing, DENTON faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum of 40 years imprisonment.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Cary Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jason Kellhofer represented the government.