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North Carolina man sentenced to over 28 years in prison for drug and firearm charges

A Jacksonville man was sentenced June 14 to 340 months in prison after a jury found him guilty in February of charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, a quantity of marijuana and five kilograms or more of cocaine; distribution of a quantity of heroin and aiding and abetting; possession with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, a quantity of marijuana and a quantity of cocaine; possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and possession of firearms by a convicted felon, according to a press release from the Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.

Lee was sentenced to 280 months in prison on all offenses but possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, for which he was sentenced to 60 months in prison to be served consecutively, stated the release.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Austin Kyle Lee, also known as Justin, 31, sold heroin to dealers in Jacksonville on multiple occasions starting in 2016. Through further investigation, it was determined that Lee, who was on parole for a felony drug conviction out of New York, was maintaining a house next door to his probation-official residence, according to the release.

“Officers searched Lee’s stash house on Ridge View Drive and found over $210,000.00 in cash, 354.4 grams of cocaine, 159.72 grams of heroin, and 118.95 grams of marijuana. Additionally, a loaded Glock 19 9mm pistol, Kel-Tec 9mm pistol, and Jiminez Arms .22 pistol with obliterated serial number were located in the house,” stated the release. “Over the course of approximately two years, Lee distributed around 5 kilograms of heroin, 20 kilograms of cocaine, and 1.75 pounds of marijuana.”

G. Norman Acker III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Police Department, Onslow County Probation/Parole, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Duplin County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lucy Brown and Robert Dodson prosecuted.

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