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Press Release

Wilmington Man Sentenced on Drug Charges

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., announces that United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan, sentenced GARY NIXON, 56, of Wilmington to 131 months’ imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release.  An additional 36 months imprisonment sentence was imposed for a supervised release violation with 24 months of that sentence to run consecutive to the 131 months.  NIXON total combined active sentence is 155 months.

NIXON was charged in a two-count indictment filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina on May 22, 2018.  On July 25, 2018, NIXON pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and possession with the intent to distribute heroin. 

On April 23, 2018 deputies with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office received information that NIXON was in possession of heroin while traveling from the Washington, D.C. area to Wilmington, North Carolina.  Law enforcement performed a traffic stop of this vehicle when it entered New Hanover County.  During the search of the vehicle, deputies found a pill bottle containing approximately 90 grams of heroin.  NIXON was a passenger in the car and admitted that the heroin belonged to him. 

According to law enforcement, the investigation revealed that NIXON was involved with the distribution of more than 500 grams of heroin from October 2017 until the time of his arrest.  NIXON was on Federal supervised release at the time of his arrest for a Federal crack cocaine conviction.

This case is part of the DEA led OCDETF operation “All the Pieces Matter”. This is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

That effort has been implemented through 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 investigation of this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.    Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

Updated December 18, 2018