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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wilmington Man Sentenced For Drug Trafficking

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox sentenced John Thomas VAUGHN, 33, of Wilmington, North Carolina, to 252 months imprisonment followed by 5 years supervised release.
On May 17, 2012, VAUGHN pled guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute and distributing more than 28 grams of cocaine base (crack).
On August 12, 2010, VAUGHN was stopped in a vehicle by the Wilmington Police Department. VAUGHN was traveling from Tabor City to Wilmington North Carolina. A Wilmington Police Detective found a quantity of cocaine in VAUGHN’S vehicle. The investigation revealed that VAUGHN had made several trips to South Carolina in order to pick up cocaine.
During the course of the investigation it was also uncovered that VAUGHN and other persons took part in home invasions of drug dealers, stealing cocaine and drug proceeds.
The cocaine was then sold by VAUGHN and/or people associated with him. VAUGHN was responsible for the importation, conversion, and distribution of more than 3 kilograms of cocaine and 2 kilograms of cocaine base (crack). VAUGHN was primarily supplying crack cocaine in the Wilmington area.
This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug
Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation entitled Buggsnatcher,
investigating importers and multi-level distributors of cocaine and crack cocaine. So far 18 persons have been sentenced in federal court as a part of this OCDETF.
Investigation of this OCEDTF case is being conducted by the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations; the Wilmington Police Department; the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo represents the government. Mr. Severo is a prosecutor with the New Hanover District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Ben David has assigned him to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force criminal matters.

Updated July 14, 2015