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Press Release

Methamphetamine Trafficker Received 97 Months in Federal Custody Following High Speed Chase

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

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Robert Baxter, 51, of Duplin County, was sentenced last week to 97 months imprisonment for: (1) Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Five Hundred (500) Grams or More of a Mixture or Substance Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine and Possession With Intent to Distribute Fifty (50) Grams or More of a Mixture or Substance Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine.

The investigation revealed that on September 20, 2019, Duplin County Narcotics Detectives served a search warrant on Baxter’s residence on Black Swamp Road in Duplin County.  Detectives found an ounce and half of 98% pure methamphetamine.  On October 16, 2019, Duplin and Onslow County Detectives went to a residence, associated with Baxter, on Dunn Road in Sneads Ferry. Law enforcement searched the residence and found a quantity of methamphetamine and a digital scale.  During the course of the investigation, law enforcement discovered that Baxter had been involved in the distribution of more than one and a half kilograms of methamphetamine in the Eastern District of North Carolina between September 19, 2019 and June 30, 2020. The evidence showed that this methamphetamine was primarily from Georgia.

Baxter was arrested on federal charges on June 30, 2020.  On a later date, Baxter failed to appear in federal court for his arraignment.  On August 31, 2020, Onslow County deputies assisted the United States Marshals Service in apprehending Baxter. Law enforcement discovered that Baxter was in Onslow County and attempted to arrest Baxter.  Baxter fled in the vehicle he was driving. During the pursuit, Baxter drove his car at speeds of 85 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone and 100 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone.  Baxter drove into oncoming traffic, failed to stop for several red lights and stop signs and drove through two school zones. Baxter finally got his car stuck in the mud and fled on foot.  Baxter was ultimately arrested.  The car Baxter was driving had been reported stolen.

The investigation was part of an OCDETF Operation. An Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (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.  This OCDETF focuses on a Multi-State Drug Trafficking Organization and associated Gang Activity that has been responsible for the distribution of large quantities of extremely pure methamphetamine throughout the United States.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after the sentencing before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II.  The Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Marshals Service, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo  prosecuted the case.

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. 7:20-CR-74-M.

Updated February 16, 2021

Drug Trafficking