Former Soldier Receives 15 Years in Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking Ketamine and Laundering More than $700,000
NEW BERN – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that in federal court, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced JAQUARIES WASHINGTON, 20, of Wilmington North Carolina to 132 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release.
WASHINGTON was named in an indictment filed on February 13, 2019 charging him with possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin. On June 20, 2019, WASHINGTON pled guilty to the indictment.
According to the investigation, on November 27, 2018, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Vice Unit ordered a quantity heroin from WASHINGTON to be delivered to a hotel room in Wilmington. Upon arriving to the hotel room, WASHINGTON was arrested for possession of heroin. After WASHINGTON’s arrest, law enforcement searched the car in which WASHINGTON arrived and found a juvenile in the backseat and a loaded pistol on the floorboard.
According to law enforcement, WASHINGTON was a validated gang member. WASHINGTON was prohibited from associating with other gang members of his set because of a North Carolina State Civil Gang Injunction at the time of his arrest.
This case is part of an FBI-led Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation named “Dodge Ball.” This operation is focused on members of the Nine Trey sect of the United Blood Nation, a violent gang in Wilmington, North Carolina involved in the distribution of heroin, possession of firearms and associated violence. This is a joint investigation by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force (Gang Unit), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Wilmington Police Department, and New Hanover Sheriff’s Office. The FBI Safe Streets Task Force and ATF utilize resources from federal, state, and local law enforcement in order to efficiently and effectively target and combat criminal gangs and drug trafficking organizations operating in coastal southern North Carolina. A key component of federal task force’s success involves the use of task force officers from local law enforcement who have direct knowledge of the criminal gang activity in their areas.
This case is also part of the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Wilmington Police Department, and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.