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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Wilmington crack-dealing ringleader released from prison, switches to heroin, sent back to federal prison

In 2005, Gary Edward Nixon was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for distribution of crack cocaine; while on supervised release, he again began moving drugs, this time heroin.

March for our Lives organizers expect at least a 1,000 participants to congregate at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Wilmington on Saturday, March 24. (Port City Daily photo | BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)
Gary Edward Nixon, 56, was sentenced for heroin possession and other crimes today in federal court. (Port City Daily photo | BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)

WILMINGTON — A man who was sent to prison 15 years ago for controlling the crack distribution on a downtown Wilmington block was today sentenced to over ten years in federal prison.

Gary Edward Nixon, 56, was involved with the distribution of more than 500 grams of heroin from October 2017 until April 23, 2018, according to law enforcement. In April, Nixon was arrested by New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office deputies after receiving a tip that he was bringing heroin from Washington, D.C., to Wilmington.

Nixon was a passenger in the vehicle, which was stopped near the county line; a search located 90 grams of heroin in a pill bottle, which Nixon admitted was his.

Nixon was charged with a two-count federal indictment in the Eastern District of North Carolina in May, and in late July pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and possession with the intent to distribute heroin. United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan, sentenced Nixon to 131 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

At the time of his arrest, Nixon was on federally-supervised release following a 13-year federal sentence for conspiracy to distribute and distribution of crack cocaine. In August of 2005, Nixon was convicted after a year-long investigation by the Wilmington Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Nixon was convicted of distribution of crack cocaine through at least three dealers, essentially controlling the area around a downtown Wilmington block at Orange and 11th streets.

Nixon’s arrest was part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). 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 level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

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