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North Carolina man sentenced to over 11 years in federal prison for drug charges

Jason Hyland, 39, of Duplin County, was sentenced April 7 to 134 months in prison for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, according to a press release from the Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court documents and evidence presented in court, on June 30, 2020, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents working with Duplin County narcotics detectives received information that Hyland and Ashely Shakelford were traveling to Atlanta, Ga. to pick up two pounds of methamphetamine and then would be returning to eastern North Carolina.

“On July 1, 2020, DEA agents assisted by Sampson County Sheriff’s Office Detectives stopped a car driven by Shakelford with Hyland as the sole passenger. The car was stopped in the Newton Grove area returning from Georgia,” stated the release. “Detectives had a K-9 conduct a sniff of the car and the K-9 detected the odor of narcotics. Detectives searched the car and found more than a kilogram and half of methamphetamine. During the investigation, law enforcement discovered that between May and June 2020, Hyland made approximately 8 trips to Georgia to pick up methamphetamine. Hyland had distributed methamphetamine to Virginia and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Hyland was responsible for distributing approximately 6 kilograms of methamphetamine.”

Shakelford was previously sentenced in federal court for her role and received 90 months imprisonment.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. “OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF,” stated the release.

G. Norman Acker III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II. The Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Craven, Duplin, New Hanover and Sampson County Sheriffs’ Offices and the Mount Olive Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted.

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