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Press Release

Hickory Business Owner And Co-Conspirator Are Sentenced For Trafficking Methamphetamine

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

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced Shawn Lamont Hickman, 32, of Newton, N.C., and Amos Lamont Bruen, 47, of Valdese, N.C., to 156 months and 97 months in prison respectively for trafficking methamphetamine, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison terms imposed, Hickman and Bruen were each ordered to serve four years of supervised release after they are released from prison.

Bennie Mims, 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 information presented in court, beginning in December 2021, law enforcement became aware that Bruen was dealing narcotics out of a business he owned in Hickory, N.C., Amos Essential Oils. An undercover officer visited Bruen’s business and arranged to purchase narcotics from Bruen. Between December 2021 and February 2022, the undercover officer met several times with Bruen at his store and conducted several controlled purchases of methamphetamine totaling more than 1.5 kilograms. Court records show that Hickman was present on several occasions while the undercover officer was conducting the controlled purchases, often armed with a firearm.

According to court records, on February 26, 2022, law enforcement observed Hickman engage in narcotics transactions in the parking lot of a pool hall, Corner Pocket. Hickman was arrested and officers recovered a firearm and methamphetamine from Hickman’s vehicle. On March 1, 2022, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Bruen’s residence. During the search of Bruen’s home and vehicle, officers seized marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and a firearm. An additional firearm and ammunition were also seized from Bruen’s business.

On November 22, 2022, Bruen pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine. Hickman pleaded guilty on February 14, 2023, to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The defendants are 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 thanked the ATF and the Hickory Police Department for their investigation of this case.

Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Boykin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.

Updated June 7, 2023

Drug Trafficking