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Justice News

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

Friday, April 12, 2013

Wilson Man Sentenced To Life For Narcotics & Weapon Violations

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court yesterday DENNIS RAY HOWARD, 41, of Wilson, North Carolina was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III to life imprisonment, followed by 60 months of supervised release. 

On October 17, 2012, HOWARD was found guilty by a federal jury of 11 counts of narcotics violations.  HOWARD was convicted of one count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With the Intent to Distribute 100 Grams or More of a Mixture or a Substance Containing a Detectable Amount of Phencyclidine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, seven counts of Distribution of a Quantity of Phencyclidine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code Sections 841(a)(1), one count of Distribution of a Quantity of Phencyclidine and Aiding and Abetting in violation of Title 21, United States Code Sections 841(a)(1) and Title 18 United States Code Section 2 and one count of Possession With Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Phencyclidine in violation of Title 21, United States Code 841(a)(1) and one count of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Offense in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 924(c).

According to the evidence presented at trial, from September 20, 2010 until October 13, 2010, six controlled purchases of Phencyclidine (PCP) from HOWARD from a residence in Wilson. Again on March 15, 2011 law enforcement conducted a controlled purchase of PCP from HOWARD and on April 7, 2011 investigators conducted a final controlled purchase of PCP from HOWARD.  On May 13, 2011, law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop of HOWARD’S vehicle and noticed an odor consistent with PCP emanating from the vehicle.  Both HOWARD and the vehicle were searched uncovering a vial containing a residue amount of PCP.  Based on information discovered during the investigation of HOWARD’S drug distribution activities, his residence was also searched revealing a .25 caliber pistol and ammunition.  Testimony at trial showed that HOWARD was responsible for distributing over 500 grams of PCP in the Wilson are during the time frame of the conspiracy.

Investigation of this case was conducted by Wilson Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer E. Wells prosecuted the case.

Updated July 14, 2015