A Burgaw man was found guilty by a jury in Pender County of drug charges and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.
Antonio Goncalves, 35, will spend more than five years in jail and has been ordered to pay a $50,000 fine.
The charges stemmed from a traffic stop-turned-arrest that happened on Nov. 26, 2019. Goncalves was driving in Maple Hill that night, allegedly accompanied by two adults and an infant child, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office.
Goncalves allegedly drove near two Pender County sheriff’s deputies, who were conducting a traffic stop that had nothing to do with him. He then made a u-turn in the middle of the road to avoid the attention of the sheriffs — which attracted the attention of one of the sheriff’s deputies, who began to follow Goncalves.
According to the district attorney’s office, Goncalves and his fellow travelers were found pulled over on the side of the road.
“The deputy approached the vehicle and found that Goncalves was driving on a suspended license and had a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle,” according to a press release. “A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded 32 grams of Methamphetamine and a loaded .22 caliber pistol. Goncalves was determined to be a convicted felon at the time.”
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