North Carolina man sentenced to 12 years in prison for methamphetamine, firearm charges

Published 6:51 am Friday, November 18, 2022

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A Wilmington man was sentenced November 3, 2022 to 144 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina. Charles Hunter Nixon, 28, pleaded guilty to the charges on May 17, 2022.

“Our office will continue to work closely with law enforcement at every level to make communities safer by investigating and prosecuting individuals that are bringing illegal and deadly drugs and guns into our neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley.

“Nixon is off the street today thanks to the hard work of the Wilmington Police Department. The partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, coupled with the financial support of New Hanover County, makes results like the one we saw in court possible. Our offices remain committed to keeping our community safe by taking violent offenders and narcotics off the street,” said District Attorney Ben David.

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“I am very proud of the men and women of the Wilmington Police Department for making this arrest and getting this violent criminal off our streets,” said Wilmington Police Department Chief Donny Williams. “I also would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partner agencies both local, state, and federal who work with us consistently to put these individuals behind bars. We are committed to reducing violence and illegal drug distribution within our community and will continue to work tirelessly to create a safe environment for all.”


According to court documents and other information presented in court, on May 14, 2021, officers with the Wilmington Police Department conducted a traffic stop on the defendant’s vehicle for reckless driving.

“During the traffic stop, officers observed an AM-15 semi-automatic rifle on the floorboard of the backseat and discovered the defendant was a convicted felon and had outstanding warrants for his arrest for cutting off his GPS ankle monitor,” stated the release. “During a search of the vehicle, officers located an ammunition belt with four rifle magazines, approximately 101 rounds of rifle ammunition, 12 bindles of heroin, digital scales, and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia. Officers also located approximately 38 grams of methamphetamine in the defendant’s pocket. At the time of this offense, the defendant was on supervised release for a 2019 conviction for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.”

Easley made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II.  The FBI’s Coastal Carolina Safe Street’s Gang Task Force, the FBI’s Transnational Organized Crime Western Hemisphere Unit (TOC-West), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and the Wilmington Police Department investigated the case and Special Assistant United States Attorney William Van Trigt prosecuted the case.  Van Trigt is a prosecutor with the New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal violent crimes and other criminal matters.  This has been made possible by a grant funded by New Hanover County.

“This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone,” stated the release. “On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.”