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Press Release

Repeat Offender And Prolific Fentanyl Trafficker Is Sentenced To Over 15 Years In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
Law Enforcement Seized Six Luxury Vehicles, $300,000 in Drug Proceeds, and more than 16 Kilograms of Fentanyl

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. sentenced Gary Lee Davis, 56, of Charlotte, to 188 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release for trafficking fentanyl and cocaine, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office, and Karen Wingerd, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS CI), Charlotte Field Office, join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and court proceedings, in January 2021, Davis met a confidential source (CS) working with law enforcement and sold the CS 20 grams of fentanyl.  During a subsequent meeting, Davis sold a kilogram of fentanyl to the CS, and arranged to sell the CS another kilogram in the near future. A few days later, law enforcement arrested Davis while he was on his way to meet with the CS and seized approximately 1.5 kilograms of fentanyl from his vehicle.

According to court documents, Davis admitted to receiving fentanyl and cocaine shipped in bulk via the U.S. Mail from a supplier based in California. Davis mailed cash drug proceeds back to his supply source in California. Davis also admitted to trafficking between 50 and 100 kilograms of fentanyl.

According to court records, Davis laundered his drug proceeds by buying luxury vehicles and renting several stash houses in Charlotte, which he used to store his drugs and drug proceeds.  During the investigation, law enforcement seized a total of approximately 16 kilograms of fentanyl and four kilograms of cocaine. Law enforcement also seized six of Davis’s vehicles, including a Maybach and two Mercedes Benz vehicles, two Lexus vehicles, and a Chevrolet Corvette.  Law enforcement also seized $300,000 in cash drug proceeds and two loaded firearms. Davis has a prior federal drug trafficking conviction from the Western District of North Carolina, and he is not permitted to own a firearm or ammunition.

“By day, Davis was as a sanitation worker for the City of Charlotte. By night, he was a bulk trafficker of fentanyl, a deadly substance that is devastating our communities. I commend our law enforcement partners for conducting an investigation that led to the largest federal seizure of fentanyl in this District. We will continue to focus our efforts on identifying large drug networks and major distributors like Davis and disrupting the flow of illegal fentanyl and other dangerous drugs into our communities,” said U.S. Attorney King.

“Fentanyl is extremely dangerous to the consumer and leaves behind a trail of devastation and destruction,” said Special Agent in Charge Murphy. “The defendant in this case had total disregard for the safety of others.”

On August 12, 2021, Davis pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation.

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 commended the DEA and IRS-CI for their investigation of the case and thanked CMPD for their assistance with Davis’s arrest.

Assistant United States Attorney Taylor G. Stout, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.

Updated July 20, 2023

Drug Trafficking