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Press Release

Man Stopped at Fort Bragg Gate Pled Guilty for Gun Possession in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

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

WILMINGTON, N.C. – A man who was stopped at a gate for Fort Bragg pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

According to court documents, Matthew Earl Carlton, 30, drove a blue Mercedes coupe to a gate at Ft. Bragg Military Installation at 2:00am on May 14, 2020.  Carlton’s car was searched after he did not have a driver’s license or military identification.  A loaded Ruger P85 nine millimeter handgun with an extended magazine and a bullet in the chamber was found under the driver’s seat.  In addition, approximately 162 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, packing materials, and $2,208 in cash were also found in the car.  At the time of this incident, Carlton was on parole from the State of New York for First Degree Robbery and Criminal Possession of a Weapon.

Carlton pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A), and one count of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) and faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 60 months in prison when sentenced at the court’s November 3, 2020 term.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II accepted the plea. U.S. Army Military Police and Criminal Investigative Division investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad DeVoe is prosecuting the case with support from Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonino Monea.

A copy of this press release is located on our website. 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. 5:20-CR-308.


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Updated July 31, 2020

Drug Trafficking