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North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys
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Defendant gets more than 14 years for drug-related federal crimes

A criminal defendant with alleged gang connections has been sentenced after reportedly supplying more than three pounds of methamphetamine to others in the area. The man, age 21, was sentenced in a North Carolina district court after being convicted of federal charges. He is slated to spend 169 months behind bars for the federal crimes.

Federal investigators say the man was reportedly caught traveling from his home state of Georgia to Boone, North Carolina. He had about 250 grams -- about 1,000 doses -- of methamphetamine with him at the time of that traffic stop. The man was prosecuted in federal court because he was attempting to distribute drugs across state lines. Criminal defendants accused of federal crimes have significantly different courtroom needs from those who are facing state-level charges. A defense strategy must be crafted to accommodate the harsher penalties that are likely to be handed down in a federal drug case.

After a search warrant was executed at the man's Georgia home, authorities say they found numerous firearms, including a rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun. Photographs on the man's phone also showed him holding a variety of high-powered, restricted guns such as assault rifles and handguns with large-capacity magazines. Additional pictures showed the man posing with stacks of money. The man is thought to have been affiliated with the Sur 13 gang; officers say they found graffiti in the man's home that would link him to that group. The man's tattoos were also consistent with gang membership.

The defendant in this case is currently in federal custody, and he will be transferred to a permanent facility after the Federal Bureau of Prisons makes a decision. The young man will serve the majority of his sentence because federal inmates are ineligible for parole. There are some programs that can shorten certain offenders' sentences by as much as 15 percent.

Source: The United States Attorneys Office - Western District of North Carolina, "Armed Drug Trafficker And Alleged Gang Member Sentenced To More Than 14 Years In Prison" No author given, Jun. 04, 2014

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