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Press Release

Onslow County Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Selling Drugs Within 1000 Feet off a School and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

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., announced that yesterday in federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever, III sentenced MICHAEL WAYNE RADETSKI, 42, of Holly Ridge, North Carolina to 120 months of imprisonment followed by 4 years of supervised release.

RADETSKI was named in a four-count Indictment on July 19, 2017.  On December 4, 2017, RADETSKI pleaded guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Marijuana Within 1,000 Feet of a School and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.

In April 2016, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office received Crime Stoppers reports indicating there was drug activity at a mobile home park in Holly Ridge.  The reports stated the suspect’s name was “Mike” and that there were many vehicles going to and from his residence. Officers identified the individual as RADETSKI.

On December 21, 2016, officers searched RADETSKI’s residence and found a loaded AR-15 .223 rifle, a 60-round drum magazine, three rifle magazines, three handgun magazines, a 9mm pistol, multiple rounds of ammunition, 156.2 grams of marijuana, a marijuana smoking pipe, a water bong, digital scales, grinders, a pistol holster, and a ballistic vest.  Additionally, officers found tools and parts typically used to make and/or modify firearms.

Further investigation determined that RADETSKI purchased 20 to 30 pounds of marijuana for $3,500 per pound over the past year from his supplier.  Additionally, RADETSKI paid a 19-year-old straw purchaser to buy the AR-15 rifle for him.  In order to conceal the purchase, RADETSKI’s wife signed a notarized letter falsely claiming that the firearm was actually hers because RADETSKI was not allowed to possess a firearm as a convicted felon.

During the investigation, officers determined that Dixon High School students would purchase marijuana from RADETSKI’s residence, and either smoke it there or at school.  Additionally, RADETSKI threatened to place explosives in the vehicle of any Dixon High School student who “snitched” on RADETSKI for selling marijuana.  On at least one occasion, a Dixon High School student, who purchased marijuana from RADETSKI on a regular basis, was threatened by RADETSKI with a handgun at RADETSKI’s residence. 

In summary, RADETSKI was selling marijuana from his residence to individuals, including under age students, within 1,000 feet of the high school.  Additionally, RADETSKI, a convicted felon, was in possession of two firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking enterprise.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office conducted the criminal investigation of this case.  Assistant United States Attorneys James J. Kurosad handled the prosecution of this case for the government.

Updated March 8, 2018

Project Safe Neighborhoods