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Press Release

Wilmington Man Responsible for Distributing Kilograms of Heroin Receives 15 Years in Federal Prison

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Wilmington man was sentenced on May 23, 2020 to 180 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 1000 grams or more of heroin, possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and a quantity of cocaine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to court documents, William Gethers, 49, was involved in the importation and distribution of heroin and cocaine into Wilmington.  Between May and September 2019, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Vice Division made several undercover purchases from Gethers.   On September 10, 2019, detectives served a search warrant on a “stash house” in Wilmington where Gethers had approximately 39,000 bags of heroin, 9 ounces of cocaine and more than $10,000.00.  Additionally, detectives searched his residence on Prices Lane and found an additional $44,000.00 and two handguns.  During a follow up investigation, law enforcement seized an additional $148,050.00 that had been hidden in Gethers’ home and in banks accounts.  The total amount of drug proceeds seized was more than a quarter of a million dollars.  During the course of the investigation, law enforcement uncovered that Gethers was responsible for importation and distribution of more than 5 kilograms of heroin.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo  prosecuted the case.  This case was part of the OCDETF investigation “White Rabbit” focusing on a drug trafficking organizations involved in the importation of Heroin and Methamphetamine into Eastern North Carolina.

Related court documents and information are located on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:19-CR-159-D.


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Updated May 26, 2020