North Carolina man sentenced to 15 years in prison, five years supervised release for methamphetamine trafficking and firearm charges

Published 7:43 am Sunday, November 13, 2022

A Jacksonville man was sentenced on November 2, 2022 to 180 months in prison and 60 months of supervised release for trafficking more than 229 grams of crystal methamphetamine and using a firearm in connection with such drug trafficking, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Lee Graham, 31, who has three prior state drug trafficking convictions, pleaded guilty to the federal charges on August 4, 2022.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, the Jacksonville Police Department (JPD) had received information that led them to believe that Graham was trafficking in large quantities of crystal meth. From November 2020 through mid-January 2021, JPD utilized an undercover agent and a cooperating informant to conduct 10 controlled purchases of illegal drugs from Graham.

“During the controlled purchases, Graham sold a total of 229 grams of crystal meth (having a purity rate of 98-99%), 12 grams of fentanyl, and quantities of crack cocaine and heroin,” stated the release. “Graham, who was on state probation at the time he was involved in his most recent drug trafficking, used and carried a Smith and Wesson handgun during the last controlled purchase.”

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Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Jacksonville Police Department, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF Wilmington Resident Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis M. Duffy prosecuted.