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Press Release

Leader of Wilmington Area Drug Trafficking Organization Gets 16 Years in Prison

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

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announces that United States District Judge James C. Dever, III sentenced RICHARD STINSON, 37, of Wilmington to 192 months of imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release.  On July 23, 2018, STINSON pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, possession with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

According to the investigation, this drug trafficking organization was importing heroin from New York to a “stash house” on Northern Boulevard in Wilmington.  STINSON was in charge of this “stash house” where he had people bagging up heroin which was then sold in Wilmington.  STINSON was on parole out of New York for Manslaughter and had picked up some of the heroin while on a trip to meet his parole officer.

On April 1, 2016, the Wilmington Police Department Narcotics Unit served a search warrant on the residence on Northern Boulevard. STINSON and a female were found in the bathroom of the main house.  STINSON was next to a loaded stolen .45 caliber handgun.  In STINSON’S bedroom law enforcement found a key to a safe and 2 handguns.  In the kitchen officers discovered approximately 1000 empty bags ready to be filled with heroin.   In a safe in an apartment in the rear of the property, law enforcement found more than 30 grams of raw heroin, 867 bindles of packaged heroin and more than $1,500.  STINSON was held accountable for more than 280 grams of heroin during the time of the conspiracy.

This case is part of the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force and the Wilmington Police Department Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Timothy M. Severo handled the prosecution of this case for the government.

Updated May 22, 2019