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NEW BERN, N.C. – A Wilmington man was sentenced yesterday to 119 months in prison for conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and possession of pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

According to court documents and evidence presented in court, Robert Cox, 29, engaged in the manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine in Raleigh and then Wilmington, North Carolina.  On February 12, 2018, an officer with the Raleigh Police Department observed Cox’s car parked in an AutoZone parking lot after the business was closed.  The officer made contact with Cox and a passenger and observed drug paraphernalia.  Following a search of the car, members of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s Clandestine Lab Unit found items that they determined were used for the manufacturing of methamphetamine and more than 300 grams of methamphetamine. Cox was arrested on State charges and subsequently posted a bond.   In late May 2018, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Narcotic Detectives received information that Cox was now manufacturing methamphetamine in Wilmington. On June 19, 2018, detectives obtained a search warrant for Cox’s residence and car in Wilmington.  Cox was stopped at a DMV parking lot in Wilmington.  The car contained items involved in the manufacturing of methamphetamine including 158 grams of pseudoephedrine.  A search of his residence uncovered additional items used to manufacture methamphetamine.

The investigation was part of OCDETF Operation Speed Bump. An Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.  This OCDETF focused on the manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine into Eastern North Carolina.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan.  The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations led the investigation, with assistance from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the Raleigh Police Department.   Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo  prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-CR-00005-M.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

 

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