North Carolina man sentenced to 12 years in prison for drug and firearm charges

Published 7:38 am Friday, December 16, 2022

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A Greenville man was sentenced Thursday, December 8, 2022 to 144 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute a quantity of methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl and heroin, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.  Dwayne Dantel Thomas, 43, pleaded guilty to the charges on June 28, 2022.

“Fentanyl and meth overdoses are causing far too many deaths,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley. “We are partnering with local law enforcement in every corner of Eastern North Carolina to prosecute illicit fentanyl dealers who put lives at risk. This defendant recklessly stored fentanyl and meth in a home with minor children, and police recovered a stolen gun kept in a minor child’s bedroom.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Thomas was responsible for trafficking over 400 grams of fentanyl in Greenville between April 2017 and May 2021. In March 2020, the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office received information that Thomas was selling fentanyl from a residence on Old River Road. Between January and April 2021, law enforcement conducted six purchases of fentanyl from Thomas at his residence using a confidential informant.

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“On April 8, 2021, the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Thomas’ residence. There, law enforcement encountered Thomas, his wife, and nine of their minor children in the residence,” stated the release. “Additionally, officers seized over an ounce of methamphetamine, and a mixture of heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl, 53 pills, and other drug paraphernalia. Officers found drugs, packaging materials, and digital scales throughout the residence and inside the bathroom. Additionally, officers seized six loaded firearms of various makes and calibers, including two stolen firearms, and one firearm with an altered front grip. At least one of the firearms was recovered from one of Thomas’ minor children’s rooms.”

Easley made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, Greenville Police Department and FBI investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aakash Singh prosecuted the case.