RALEIGH – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that in federal court on August 30, 3016, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced JOHN ABNEY SR., 54, of Pollocksville, North Carolina, to a total term of 300 months imprisonment.
ABNEY was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 15, 2015. ABNEY pleaded guilty on May 19, 2016, to one count of distributing more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, 280 grams of crack, and a quantity of oxycodone, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking activity.
ABNEY’s charges arose out of an investigation by federal and state law enforcement agencies. Their investigation revealed that ABNEY had been involved in narcotics trafficking going back as far as 2009. Agents followed up on recent reports of illegal narcotic sales and an “open air drug market” taking place at several residences associated with ABNEY in Pollocksville and Maysville, North Carolina. Agents also utilized confidential informants to make several controlled buys of drugs from those locations. On May 29, 2015, with the assistance of local law enforcement, agents and officers executed three search warrants simultaneously at the residences where they had previously purchased drugs from ABNEY or his associates. As a result of their search warrants, agents recovered over $187,000 in drug proceeds and two firearms (a shotgun and a semi-automatic pistol), as well as varying quantities of cocaine, crack, marijuana, and methadone.
At his sentencing hearing, Judge Dever determined that ABNEY was responsible for distributing more than 15.8 kilograms of crack cocaine from 2009 through 2015. He was sentenced to a term of 240 months imprisonment for drug distribution, and a consecutive term of 60 months for his firearm offense, resulting in a total term of imprisonment of 300 months.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, Jones County Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Cooley, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Holbrook represented the government. Mr. Holbrook is a prosecutor with the Wake County District Attorney’s Office, and Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has assigned him to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force criminal matters. Mr. Holbrook’s assignment to the United States Attorney’s Office is made possible by grants funded by the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys.