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Press Release

Fentanyl Dealer Is Sentenced To Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
The Defendant Was Found With Multiple Firearms When He Was Arrested

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Antonio Markel Hewitt, 33, of Hickory, N.C., was sentenced today to 96 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for distribution of fentanyl, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Alicia Jones, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, and Chief Reed Baer of the Hickory Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed documents and today’s court proceedings, in April 2022, investigators became aware that Hewitt was involved in the distribution of fentanyl in the Catawba County area. Court records show that law enforcement conducted an investigation into Hewitt, that included multiple controlled fentanyl purchases from the defendant at or near his home. On June 21, 2022, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Hewitt’s residence. During the search, law enforcement seized four firearms, one of which was affixed with a high capacity magazine, ammunition, and digital scales.

On March 8, 2023, Hewitt pleaded guilty to four counts of distribution of fentanyl. He is in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

The ATF and the Hickory Police Department conducted the investigation.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA) William Wiseman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case. Mr. Wiseman is a state prosecutor with the office of the 26th Prosecutorial District and was assigned by District Attorney Spencer Merriweather to serve as a SAUSA with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte. Mr. Wiseman is sworn in both state and federal courts. The SAUSA position is a reflection of the partnership between the District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.


Updated December 14, 2023

Drug Trafficking