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Press Release

Hoke County Man Sentenced to Forty Years for Drug Distribution

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

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that in federal court, United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced TIM THACKER, 56, of Raeford, North Carolina, to 480 months imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release.

THACKER was named in a two-count Indictment filed on June 26, 2018, charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine (Count One) and one count of distribution of a of methamphetamine (Count Two).  On February 5, 2019, THACKER pled guilty to charges.

In 2017, agents began investigating THACKER based on information that he was a large-scale methamphetamine supplier in the Fayetteville area and beyond.  Agents interviewed witnesses and other individuals who have been convicted of Federal drug trafficking crimes from North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and Nevada – all of whom identified THACKER as a large scale, proactive methamphetamine dealer for the previous decade.

As the investigation progressed, THACKER became linked to individuals who were already being prosecuted by Federal Law Enforcement (DEA and ATF) that had not been previously linked to THACKER. Evidence ultimately linked THACKER to multiple drug trafficking operations throughout the United States. These operations ranged in location from Oklahoma, California to the East Coast. THACKER utilized a local, private airport to enhance his own drug trafficking organization and to open Eastern North Carolina to out of state, large scale methamphetamine suppliers.

After THACKER’S arrest for the Federal charges, law enforcement agents uncovered further drug trafficking crimes committed by THACKER even after he was in custody. On multiple occasions, THACKER arranged for methamphetamine to be disguised in various forms and shipped into jail. Once received, THACKER would distribute the methamphetamine to various inmates. Additionally, law enforcement confirmed that THACKER directed the drug trafficking activities of others from inside jail regularly, whether connecting sources of supply of methamphetamine to various individuals within Eastern North Carolina, or customers to drug dealers who worked for THACKER.

Mr. Higdon commented: “Tim Thacker might fairly be called a drug kingpin.  And he has now received a kingpins sentence. His sentence reflects the large scale nature of his organization, its vast reach and the level of harm he brought to the people of the Eastern District.  We are very pleased to see his criminal activity stopped.”

At sentencing, Judge Dever stated that the scale of THACKER’S operation, the persistence in THACKER’S distribution, and the urgent need to protect the public were just some of the reasons for the sentence imposed.

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, the Brunswick County Sherriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Assistant United States Attorney Brad Knott represented the United States in this case.

Updated August 22, 2019

Drug Trafficking