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Press Release

Federal Jury Delivers Guilty Verdict Against Previously Convicted Drug Trafficker

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

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Charlotte federal jury has convicted Lance Richardson Pagan, 52, of Gastonia, N.C., of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and powder cocaine and possession of a firearm by convicted felon, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. presided over the two-day trial, which ended on Tuesday.

Michael C. Scherck, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Travis Brittain of the Gastonia Police Department (GPD) join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and evidence presented at trial, on January 12, 2022, law enforcement investigating Pagan’s drug distribution activities executed a search warrant at his residence. Trial evidence established that law enforcement seized from Pagan’s bedroom a trafficking amount of cocaine base and powder cocaine, and three handguns. Pagan was previously convicted of a federal drug trafficking offense and sentenced to seven years in prison. As a convicted felon, Pagan is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Pagan is currently in federal custody. At sentencing, Pagan faces a sentence of up to 30 in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

U.S. Attorney King credited today’s outcome to investigations led by the Western District’s OCDETF team, which have resulted in the conviction of more than 70 individuals, and the seizure of over 567 kilograms of cocaine, more than six kilograms of cocaine base, more than 17 kilograms of methamphetamine, more than four kilograms of heroin, over 30 kilograms of fentanyl, 127 firearms, and more $437,000 in cash and other property.

OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles criminal organizations using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the FBI and GPD. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, is prosecuting the case.

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Updated October 12, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses