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Press Release

Omaha Man Sentenced to 72 Months for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nebraska

United States Attorney Steven Russell announced that Gary Payton, 40, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced on June 20, 2023, in federal court in Lincoln, Nebraska, for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Senior United States District Judge John M. Gerrard sentenced Payton to imprisonment for 72 months. Upon release from prison, Payton will be required to complete a 5-year term of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

On June 29, 2022, Lancaster County Sherriff’s deputies observed a red Camaro with an inoperable driver’s side taillight. They initiated a traffic stop. While approaching the vehicle, officers saw the driver attempting to give something to the passenger. The driver, identified as Gary Payton, told the deputy that his license was suspended. Another deputy spoke with the passenger. The passenger produced a Nebraska identification card and deputies determined that her driver’s license was also suspended. One of the deputies observed an open alcoholic beverage container behind the passenger seat and within reaching distance of both Payton and the passenger.

Deputies searched the Camaro and its contents. A deputy opened the passenger’s bag found on the front passenger side where she had been sitting and observed a large gallon-sized bag containing suspected methamphetamine. Within the gallon-sized bag were four bags containing suspected methamphetamine. Deputies performed a field test on the substance in one of the bags and confirmed that the substance was methamphetamine. Payton and the passenger were both arrested.

Deputies seized Payton’s phone and obtained a warrant to search it. The search of the phone yielded evidence of communications between the passenger and Payton. In one communication, Payton sent the passenger a photo of two bags of suspected methamphetamine. They also found evidence of communications with others relating to drug trafficking. The suspected methamphetamine from the vehicle was sent to the lab for testing. The lab determined there were 193.7 grams of methamphetamine, a distribution quantity.

The passenger was indicted by the Grand Jury in a separate case, which is pending before the Court.

This case was investigated by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.


Michael Norris - Criminal Chief (402) 661-3700

Updated June 23, 2023