Drug dealer investigated by WPD and FBI sentenced to 78 months

Quadarrius “Reckless” Cotten, a 23-year-old man from New Hanover County, was sentenced to 78 months imprisonment in federal court on Tuesday. 

He was convicted for distributing heroin and fentanyl, possessing heroin with intent to distribute, and posing a firearm “in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.” 

In January 2020, the Wilmington Police Department conducted a controlled purchase of heroin from Cotten, “in the bathroom of a Burger King restaurant in Wilmington.” 


Cotten was accompanied by two young children in the Burger King bathroom, one of whom wore a BK crown during the drug deal, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of N.C. 

A week after the first undercover operation, “the Wilmington Police Department conducted a second controlled purchase of fentanyl and a firearm from Cotten,” the press release noted.

In May 2020, WPD was surveilling an area near 6th and Campbell Streets, expecting to see retaliatory gang activity. 

“Cotten, a validated gang member, was observed engaging in an argument with an individual who was armed with an AK-47 rifle,” according to the press release. “Officers intervened and during a search of Cotten found a small amount of heroin and nearly $400 in cash in his possession.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Street Task Force and the Wilmington Police Department investigated the case. 


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