North Carolina man sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for charges related to drug trafficking

Published 7:42 pm Saturday, September 25, 2021

Markel Brown, 20, of Maple Hill, North Carolina, was sentenced September 14 to 126 months in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of 100 grams or more of heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine, possession with intent distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court documents, evidence presented in court and other documents, on August 13, 2019 law enforcement received information that Brown was returning from Atlanta, Georgia after having obtained a large amount of narcotics to be distributed in Eastern North Carolina. “On August 13th, a Robeson County Sheriff’s Officer conducted a traffic stop on a car in which Brown was a passenger,” stated the release. “Law enforcement officers searched the car and found more than a kilogram of cocaine and a .22 caliber handgun with altered serial numbers. Brown had $8,992 on his person.

“During the subsequent investigation, law enforcement uncovered that Brown was providing cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl to the Maple Hill area,” the release continued. “Brown was responsible for distributing more than one and half kilograms of cocaine, 380 grams of heroin, 79 grams of a heroin/fentanyl mixture, and 70 grams of methamphetamine between December 2018 and September 2019. On October 24, 2020, while detained, a detention officer observed Brown in possession of homemade alcohol in his cell. When the officer attempted to retrieve the contraband, Brown struck the officer several times with a closed fist in the face and head area injuring the officer.”

According to the release, the case is part of operation Ahab’s Harpoon, which is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. “OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launders, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks,” the release continued.

G. Norman Acker III, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jacksonville Police Department and the Roberson and Onslow County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Severo and Charity Wilson prosecuted.

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