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home : state news : e-state news February 18, 2018

2/11/2018 12:01:00 AM
Three Men Sentenced To Prison On Various Drug Trafficking & Firearms Offenses

Department Of Justice
Press Release


STATESVILLE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney R. Andrew Murray announced Friday, February 9, 2018, that Joseph Howard Davis, 34, of Charlotte, was sentenced to 260 months in prison on drug trafficking and firearms offenses. U.S. District Judge Richard L. Voorhees also ordered Davis to serve 10 years under court supervision upon completion of his prison term. In July 2017, a federal jury convicted Davis of charges of distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by convicted felon.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN.

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According to filed court documents and evidence introduced during Davis’ two-day trial, from in or about 2014 to October 2016, Davis participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in and around Catawba county and elsewhere in the Western District. Court records show that over the course of the investigation law enforcement seized from Davis approximately two ounces of 96% pure methamphetamine and two rifles. Davis has a previous felony conviction and is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

In a separate case, Judge Voorhees also sentenced today Shea David Byrd, 44, of Lenoir, N.C. to 15 years in prison, and Patrick Neal Bates, 50, of Hickory, N.C. to 10 years in prison on methamphetamine trafficking offenses. Byrd and Bates were each ordered to serve five years of supervised release after they are released from prison.

All defendants are currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

These prosecutions stem from an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) that has resulted in the conviction of more than 200 defendants on methamphetamine trafficking and firearms charges. 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 drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement agencies and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets. 

In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray thanks Gregory L. Wiest, Acting Special Agent in Charge of ICE/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Georgia and the Carolinas; Robert Schurmeier, Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; Chief Thurman Whisnant of the Hickory Police Department; and Sheriff Chris Bowman of the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office for their agencies’ coordination and assistance throughout these investigations. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, was in charge of the prosecution.


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