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Press Release

Wilmington Pair Sentenced for Drug Distribution and Firearm Charges

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

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that yesterday in federal court, Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced NATHANIEL JOSEY, 61, of Wilmington, North Carolina, to 84 months imprisonment, followed by 4 years of supervised release.  On April 2, 2019, JOSEY pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, two counts of distribution of a quantity of pocaine, possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and cocaine base (crack), and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. 

Previously, Chief United States District Judge Boyle sentenced ANTHONY WILLIAMS, 36, of Wilmington, to 168 months imprisonment and 5 years supervised release.  On January 15, 2019, WILLIAMS pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack), and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. 

In May 2017, the FBI’s Coastal Carolina Criminal Enterprise Task Force, which is comprised of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Wilmington Police Department, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, initiated an investigation into JOSEY’s drug trafficking activities. 

On May 30 and June 6, 2017, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office conducted two controlled purchases of cocaine from JOSEY, both times in the parking lot of a business on Carolina Beach Road in New Hanover County.  After JOSEY completed the June 6 drug deal, detectives conducted a traffic stop on JOSEY’s car. New Hanover Sheriff’s Detectives found quantities of cocaine and cocaine base (crack) and $3,800.  Detectives developed information that JOSEY lived in Brunswick County and had more cocaine at his residence.

New Hanover County Detectives provided this information to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.  Detectives then conducted a consent search of JOSEY’s residence and found several ounces of cocaine and cocaine base (crack), more than $60,000 in drug proceeds, two loaded handguns, and numerous long guns.

During the investigation it was determined that JOSEY was being supplied by WILLIAMS and that JOSEY had recently received cocaine from WILLIAMS.  New Hanover County Detectives obtained a search warrant for a residence associated with WILLIAMS.  Detectives found 10 kilograms of cocaine, more than 380 grams of crack cocaine, items used to convert cocaine into crack cocaine, a loaded semi-automatic handgun, and more than $205,000 in drug proceeds.

The investigation uncovered that WILLIAMS imported and distributed approximately 60 kilograms of either cocaine and/or crack cocaine during the course of the drug conspiracy.

This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Office’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative.  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 success of this case is the direct result of the phenomenal partnership between law enforcement agencies and the United States Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina.  There is no limit to what the FBI, the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office and the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office can accomplish when it comes to protecting the members of their communities.  Assistant United States Attorney Timothy M. Severo and Special Assistant United States Attorney Murphy Averitt represented the government. 


The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at

Updated January 31, 2020

Drug Trafficking