Duplin County man sentenced to more than 12 years for drug trafficking, possession of gun

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WILMINGTON, N.C. – Alexander Hawes, 36, of Duplin County, North Carolina, was sentenced Thursday to 145 months in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine, possession with intent distribute a quantity of methamphetamine, two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and two counts of possession of a sawed-off shotgun. 

According to court documents, evidence presented in court, and other documents, on July 17, 2020 and again on August 4, 2020 the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office made controlled purchases of methamphetamine from Hawes in Rose Hill.  Hawes had a handgun during each of these deals.

On August 29, 2020, the Duplin County Narcotics Unit served a search warrant at Hawes’ residence in Rose Hill.  Law enforcement recovered a fully automatic rifle with a high-capacity magazine, a small amount of methamphetamine, and a sawed-off shotgun.   Law enforcement also found “buy money” from a controlled purchase that Duplin County had made from Hawes two days earlier.

The Duplin County Narcotics Unit working with the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested Hawes at his residence in Rose Hill on December 9, 2020.  Hawes had a loaded handgun and rifle on his person.  Law enforcement searched his residence and found another fully automatic weapon with a high-capacity magazine, 43 grams of methamphetamine, and another sawed-off shotgun.

During the course of the investigation, law enforcement was able to determine that Hawes was responsible for possessing with the intent to distribute and distributing almost a kilogram of methamphetamine.

This is part of operation “Fighting Jelly Fish” which is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. 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.

G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted the case.

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