North Carolina man sentenced to nine years in prison for cocaine distribution

Published 1:00 pm Monday, January 30, 2023

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A Kinston man was sentenced to 108 months in prison for two counts of distribution of a quantity of cocaine, according to a January 20, 2023 press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Joseph Michael Wilson, also known as “Mike Mike,” 37, pleaded guilty to the charges on November 15, 2022.

“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect our communities day in and day out,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley. “They deserve our utmost respect. This defendant, a violent drug dealer, threatened not only the officers, but also their families. Now he will be spending the next nine years in prison.”

“The Kinston Police Department is committed to working with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to make our communities safer,” said Interim Kinston Police Department Chief Keith Goyette. “On behalf of the men and women of the Kinston Police Department as well as our citizens, I want to extend my sincere thanks to U.S. Attorney Michael Easley Jr. and his staff at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina for partnering with us to combat crime and prosecute violent offenders within our community.  Cases like this demonstrate the overall strategy and uncompromising determination to eliminate the drug and violent crime plaguing our community.”

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According to court documents, evidence presented in court and other documents, on June 15 and June 20, 2022, the Kinston Police Department made controlled purchases of cocaine from Wilson; both deals occurred in an area known as the “Kurve” on South Adkins Street in Kinston.

“On July 14, 2022, Wilson was arrested at a residence on Falling Creek Road. Law enforcement searched the residence and found additional cocaine,” stated the release. “The investigation also revealed that prior to his arrest on these charges, Wilson posted several threats against law enforcement on social media, including posting pictures of officers and their families.”

Wilson has prior state felony convictions for voluntary manslaughter in 2006, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill in 2006 and assault inflicting serious bodily injury in 2015, according to the release.

“This operation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation,” stated the release. “OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launders, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.”

Easley made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Kinston Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted.