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Press Release

Gastonia Man Is Sentenced To 15 Years On Drug And Gun Charges

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

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Kyle Williamson Auten, 37, of Gastonia, North Carolina, was sentenced today to 180 months in prison and five years of supervised release on drug and gun charges, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Vincent C. Pallozzi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, and Chief Joseph D. Ramey of the Gaston County Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed documents and today’s sentencing hearing, on February 17, 2020, officers with the Gaston County Police Department learned that Auten was staying at a hotel in Gastonia and had an outstanding arrest warrant. Officers effectuating the warrant arrived at Auten’s room, where they observed a firearm in plain view. In addition to the firearm, law enforcement recovered from the room narcotics, including methamphetamine and marijuana, cash, digital scales, and other drug paraphernalia. From Auten’s vehicle, law enforcement recovered a rifle, ammunition and more narcotics. Law enforcement also determined that the vehicle Auten was driving was stolen.

On June 1, 2021, Auten pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Auten is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King commended the ATF and the Gaston County Police Department for their investigation of the case and thanked the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office for their invaluable assistance.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hess prosecuted the case.

Updated March 8, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses