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Federal jury convicts Wilmington man of narcotics distribution, possession of a firearm by a felon

A federal jury convicted Shawn Fonville, 34, of Wilmington, on February 1 on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin; possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, according to the Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Fonville was distributing narcotics from three residences in the Wilmington area.

“While under surveillance, Fonville and his associates were observed orchestrating purchases and distributing heroin to other individuals from the residences. Following those purchases, officers from the Wilmington Police Department received information that the defendant had traveled to New York to get additional supplies of heroin,” stated the DOJ press release. “The day after Fonville returned to his apartment in Wilmington, multiple vehicles were seen leaving his residence. Officers conducted a traffic stop on one of the vehicles.  The driver, co-defendant Zabar Irick, attempted to flee, and officers observed Irick throwing bundles of heroin while fleeing. Officers secured a search warrant for the defendant’s apartment and discovered 3,000 dosage units of heroin, a loaded revolver, and over $40,000 in the defendant’s bedroom. An additional firearm was located in the center console of the defendant’s vehicle. This conduct occurred while Fonville was on federal supervised release for prior convictions of possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm by a felon.”

Fonville faces a maximum penalty of 35 years imprisonment when sentenced during the May 3, 2021 term of court.

Robert J. Higdon Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III accepted the verdict. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Wilmington Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Bradford Knott and Caroline Webb prosecuted the case.

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