Two Gastonia Drug Traffickers Are Sentenced To 15+ Years In Federal Prison
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. handed down lengthy prison sentences to two individuals convicted of drug trafficking in Gaston County, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Corey Dusean Edwards, 45, of Gastonia, N.C., was sentenced to 188 months in prison and five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; and possession of a firearm by felon. According to court documents and proceedings in this case, from 2018 to 2020, Edwards was responsible for trafficking more than a kilogram of crack cocaine in Gaston County. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized cocaine and other drugs from Edwards’ residence, as well as a stolen firearm and $1,723 in cash. As a result of Edwards’s multiple prior drug convictions, the Court sentenced him as a career offender.
In a separate case, Caleb O’Brian Kendrick, 31, of Gastonia, was also ordered to serve 188 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine; two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; and possession of firearm by a felon. Court documents filed in this case show that, from 2016 to 2019, Kendrick was engaged in drug trafficking activities in Gaston County. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement recovered from Kendrick’s residence narcotics and firearms, and evidence of his membership in the Bloods gang. At today’s hearing, the Court enhanced Kendrick’s term of imprisonment due to his prior convictions for, among other things, drug trafficking, armed robbery, burglary, kidnapping, and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
U.S. Attorney King credited today’s outcomes to investigations led by one of the Western District of North Carolina’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), which have resulted in the conviction of more than 70 individuals, and the seizure of over 1,625 kilograms of crack cocaine, 561 kilograms of cocaine, more than 1,430 kilograms of methamphetamine, more than 210 kilograms of heroin, over 28 kilograms of fentanyl, 89 firearms, and more $290,000 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 https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Gastonia Police Department for their investigative efforts.
Assistant United States Attorney Steven Kaufman, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the cases.
Updated March 10, 2022