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Raleigh Criminal Law Blog

North Carolina postal workers accused of selling drugs

Five postal workers have been charged with stealing mail and selling drugs according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The five men, who all worked at the United States Postal Service's Processing and Distribution Center Annex in Fayetteville according to reports, each face up to 10 years in a federal prison if convicted on all the charges they are facing.

Investigators were alerted to the group's alleged activities after receiving complaints from members of the public on or around October 2017. The men are accused of intercepting mail that contained marijuana and then selling the drugs themselves. These activities occurred between October 2017 and February 2018 according to federal prosecutors. Initial reports do not reveal how the men knew which packages contained marijuana or whether any other individuals were involved in the alleged conspiracy.

Evidence collection, raids and the FBI

Finding FBI agents at your door is an intimidating experience. When the FBI arrives and tells you your house is going to be searched, it can feel like you have no rights at all. An FBI raid can discourage people from asserting their rights in a way that Raleigh police or North Carolina state police can't match. That should not be the case. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is restricted by Federal rules of search and seizure. They do not have unlimited rights to conduct a raid on your home whenever they please. The FBI can and should be held accountable if they violate your Civil Rights.

The scope of a warrant

Before conducting a raid, FBI agents are likely to have obtained a warrant. In general, this means they presented a affidavit or some other form of information to a magistrate judge, asking for the right to conduct a search. If the magistrate judge agrees that there is probable cause to conduct a search and seizure, he or she will issue the warrant. 

Man sentenced to 10 years in prison for dealing cocaine

In late November, a 52-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for distributing cocaine in North Carolina. The sentence is to be followed by eight years of supervised parole. According to media reports, law enforcement officers from the Nash County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the defendant, a resident of Nashville, from 2009 until 2015. During that time, he was reportedly distributing cocaine and crack cocaine throughout Nash County and Edgecombe County.

In 2015, undercover agents made a series of cocaine purchases from him and also witnessed a separate drug transaction at his home. Based on these events, agents executed a search warrant at the property and discovered a large quantity of cocaine, firearms, ammunition and $43,000 in cash.

North Carolina woman faces sentencing on drug charges

A 41-year-old North Carolina woman who pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine in July is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 3, according to federal court documents. The woman and her husband were taken into custody on Jan. 11 when police discovered 10 ounces of methamphetamine after pulling their vehicle over in Caldwell County. Records indicate that the woman was employed by the Friends for Animals Humane Society of Burke County at the time of her arrest. She has since been terminated by the nonprofit organization.

According to police reports, the woman admitted to the police officers who conducted the traffic stop that she and her husband had traveled to Asheville to pick up drugs. She is said to have confessed to making several such trips. Narcotics officers say that they had been keeping the couple under surveillance as they made the trip.

North Carolina man sentenced on drug trafficking charges

A North Carolina man who was found guilty of trafficking drugs has been sentenced to 15 years and 10 months in a federal prison to be followed by four years of supervised release. The 36-year-old Wilmington resident learned of his fate during a Nov. 16 sentencing hearing held at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. A grand jury issued a 10-count indictment against the man on Feb. 22 for distributing heroin, crack cocaine and powder cocaine in New Hanover County.

The man was taken into custody in May 2017 at a Wilmington motel following an investigation that involved officers from the Wilmington Police Department and agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Reports indicate that almost 700 grams of cocaine, 14,000 heroin bundles and $19,500 in cash were discovered at the scene of the arrest. On the same day, more arrests were made and further significant quantities of illegal drugs and cash were seized at two North Carolina residences.

A DUI could impact your application for grad school and more

Let us say you already have your college career mapped out, and that plan includes graduate school. You have just started your freshman year at North Carolina State, and things were going well until your arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. How will a DUI impact your plans for graduate school?

A cloudy future

The necessity defense in a DWI case

There are numerous defenses available to those on trial for DWI. One strategy worth considering is the necessity defense, which is when you argue driving under the influence of alcohol was necessary for the public good. However, it is important to remember this defense will not be right for everyone. 

One can argue driving while intoxicated was necessary due to the belief that "the law ought to promote the achievement of higher values at the expense of lesser values." This language comes from the court case State v. Thomas, which is a public policy stating people may be able to break the law when there is a necessity for it. For example, a medical emergency necessitating driving someone to the hospital could allow a person to get away with certain actions that ordinarily the court would not permit. 

Wilson man accepts plea deal on federal cocaine charge

A 29-year-old man from Wilson received a sentence of 37 months in prison and a subsequent 6 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to distributing cocaine base. He was already under the supervision of the probation office for the federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina on a previous cocaine charge when a drug task force arrested him on Sept. 8, 2017.

According to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office, police in Wilson targeted the man after hearing that he had distributed cocaine in the area. The Wilson Police Department acted in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Woman sentenced to 10 years in prison for drug trafficking

A North Carolina woman was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for her role in a drug trafficking ring. The investigation into the ring was coined Operation Rolling Thunder by authorities.

According to news reports, the defendant, a 37-year-old Meadows of Dan resident, was one of 23 people arrested as a result of the operation. She was accused of participating in a drug ring that delivered methamphetamine to the North Carolina counties of Guilford and Surry and the Virginia counties of Carroll, Grayson and Patrick. Of the 23 defendants arrested, 22 have already been convicted and sentenced to a combined total of 283 years in prison.

Traffic stop in North Carolina prompts federal investigation

A routine traffic stop on Interstate 85 on the afternoon of Oct. 29 led to a federal investigation into human trafficking according to local media reports. The Anderson County Sheriff's Office is said to have called in agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when the identification documents produced by the occupants of a van that had been pulled over for erratic driving raised the suspicion of a deputy.

According to an ACSO report, the van was pulled over at about 4 p.m. after a deputy on highway patrol observed it swerving across the roadway. The situation escalated when the deputy discovered that one of the van's occupants was a person of interest to ICE. That person was later taken into custody by ICE for reentering the country illegally. Reports indicate that two other passengers were transported to a nearby bus station and the driver of the van was released.

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Our Results

  • Client was charged in federal court with the felony offense of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm. After negotiation with the US Attorney's Office, the felony gun charge was dismissed and our client...

  • Our client was charged with statutory rape and faced mandatory registration as a sex offender if convicted. We were able to work with a forensic expert and the district attorney's office to negotiate a guilty plea..

  • Client charged with Felony Assault on a Police Officer, misdemeanor assault, and resisting an officer. After a jury trial where multiple police officers testified about the incident, our client was found not guilty ..

  • Client investigated by federal law enforcement for possessing child pornography. Ryan began representing the client during the investigation and ultimately the client was not charged with any crimes...

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