New Bern Woman Sentenced to More Than 13 Years for Trafficking Over One Kilogram of Methamphetamine, Tax Fraud
WILMINGTON, N.C. – A New Bern, North Carolina woman was sentenced today to 166 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, Antoinette Charmane Becton, 41, was named in an Indictment filed on February 19, 2020. On January 27, 2021, Becton entered a plea of guilty to a Criminal Information.
In October 2018, the Greenville Regional Drug Task Force received information that Alterick Wallisima Boyd was distributing large quantities of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin in Pitt County, North Carolina. Over the next several months, agents conducted an investigation into Boyd and his co-conspirators. Boyd is scheduled to be sentenced on April 5, 2022.
From December 2019 through February 2020, a confidential source conducted controlled purchases of cocaine, cocaine base (crack), and more than one kilogram of crystal methamphetamine from Becton.
A search warrant was executed at Becton’s residence on February 20, 2020, and agents seized $2,680 in currency from prior controlled drug purchases; a money counter; a digital scale; two smoking pipes; suspected fake ID cards and bank cards; and suspected cocaine base (crack).
In a separate investigation, agents with the Internal Revenue Service determined that over the course of several years, Becton ran a business called Carolina Tax Service. Through that business, Becton filed large numbers of false tax returns in which she listed fabricated information to fraudulently obtain tax refunds. In total, from 2014 to 2018, Becton and her employees filed false tax returns with intended losses of more than $1,000,000.
“Crystal methamphetamine is a highly addictive and destructive controlled substance. It destroys minds, bodies, and communities,” said United States Attorney Michael Easley. “The United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to investigate and prosecute those who would sell these substances for personal profit.”
“When those we trust to prepare our taxes take advantage of their clients for their own greed, everybody is harmed,” said Donald “Trey” Eakins, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge, Charlotte Field Office. “Today's sentencing again emphasizes that the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and U.S. Attorney’s office will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who would attempt to defraud America's tax system.”
Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement. The Greenville Regional Drug Task Force, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigated the cases and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott A. Lemmon and Susan Menzer 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 number 4:20-CR-0016-M-3.