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13 NC residents face drug and weapons charges in FBI operation

North Carolina residents may have heard about the arrests of 13 people for a variety of drug and weapons offenses in the eastern part of the state. Twelve of those arrested were indicted on federal charges. In a press conference on August 1, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that 12 people had been charged in connection with a multi-agency operation led by the FBI.

The arrests were made as part of Operation Nor'easter. This operation was executed by the Take Back North Carolina initiative with the goal of curbing suspected heroin and opioid trafficking and gang activity. Some of those who were accused reportedly have previous convictions on their records such as second-degree murder and robbery. Some of the accused were already in state custody on other charges.

The U.S. Attorney claimed that the 12 people who were charged after their arrests were all connected to the United Blood Nation gang. The accused, all residents of Eastern North Carolina, face a variety of charges such as Hobbs Act robbery, possession of firearm by convicted felon, possession of stolen firearm, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

People who are accused of drug charges in federal court often face long sentences in prison, and parole may not be a possibility after convictions in these cases. U.S. Attorneys are typically involved in investigations before charges are even filed. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to leverage their client's knowledge of suspected gang activity to negotiate with U.S. Attorneys for lesser charges, which might result in shorter sentences.

Source: WTKR, "13 arrests part of 'Operation Nor'easter' in Elizabeth City", Rachael Cardin, 08/01/2018

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