North Carolina man sentenced to 17 years in prison for drug, firearm charges

Published 6:44 am Friday, November 12, 2021

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A Whiteville man was sentenced November 4 by Judge James C. Dever to a total of 204 months for possession of a firearm by a felon, possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina. Samuel Arnett Jr., 43, pleaded guilty to the charges on June 24, 2021.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office engaged in a four-month long narcotics investigation into Arnett.

“During the summer of 2019, investigators purchased crack cocaine and firearms from Arnett utilizing a confidential source of information,” stated the release. “On five separate occasions, Arnett sold quantities of crack cocaine. On two other occasions, Arnett sold firearms to the confidential source and on two additional occasions, Arnett sold both firearms and crack cocaine to the source of information. Based on that investigation, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Arnett’s house in Whiteville. Law enforcement found additional cocaine, drug paraphernalia indicative of the sale of narcotics, two other firearms, ammunition and United States currency.”

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Arnett was found to be a career offender, having two or more convictions for violent felonies, according to the release. In 2003 Arnett was convicted of two separate robbery with a dangerous weapon charges and in 2005 he was convicted again of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon.

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 James C. Dever III. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Columbus County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charity Wilson prosecuted.