Arizona man sentenced to more than 24 years in prison for fentanyl, methamphetamine trafficking in eastern North Carolina

Published 1:13 pm Thursday, December 15, 2022

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A Phoenix, Arizona man was sentenced December 8, 2022 to 293 months in prison for trafficking fentanyl and methamphetamine, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Eric O’Neal, 54, pleaded guilty on July 27, 2022 to conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl and 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and 40 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, aiding and abetting.

“This sentence should send a strong message to kilogram-level narcotics traffickers pushing deadly fentanyl and meth into Eastern North Carolina,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley. “No matter where you are, we will find you. We will prosecute you. And you will do time in federal prison.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, O’Neal distributed a total of 30 kilograms of fentanyl and methamphetamine in the eastern district of North Carolina from July 2020 through January 28, 2022.

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“O’Neal would utilize the mail system to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine to customers in the Raleigh, North Carolina area,” stated the release. “O’Neal was previously prosecuted federally for Distribution and Manufacture of Controlled Substances in Salt Lake City, Utah and after serving a ten-year sentence for this conviction, got out of federal prison and continued distributing and selling narcotics until his arrest in this case in New Jersey on January 28, 2022 of this year.”

Easley made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly L. Sandling prosecuted.