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Press Release

Wilmington Man Sentenced For Drug Trafficking & Firearm Violations

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

New Bern - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan, sentenced LEANDER HANDS, 37, of Wilmington, North Carolina, to 300 months imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release.

On January 16, 2013, HANDS pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin, distribution of a quantity of heroin and aiding and abetting same, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

On February 15, 2011, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Detectives made an undercover purchase of heroin near an apartment complex in Wilmington, North Carolina. The detectives developed information that HANDS supplied the heroin to the person who was arrested by law enforcement.

Narcotics detectives stopped an automobile driven by HANDS in the area of the drug transaction. During a search of HANDS and the automobile, law enforcement found quantities of heroin and crack cocaine and $1,200 which included undercover funds used to purchase the heroin.

Following HANDS arrest, detectives searched a Taylor Holmes Apartment that was associated with HANDS. They found an additional 250 bags of heroin in a child’s bedroom. In the master bedroom closet, detectives found a safe containing more than $16,000, a bullet proof vest and a handgun. Detectives also found a stolen handgun in a bedroom drawer.

This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation entitled WoofPack, investigating importers and multi-level distributors of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and gang activity associated with this distribution. So far 32 persons have been sentenced in federal court as a part of this operation.

Investigation of this OCDETF case is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (Safe Streets Task Force); 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 Greenville Police Department. 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