Thursday, June 13, 2024

Wilmington gang member sentenced to more than 11 years for trafficking meth

New Hanover County Courthouse. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)

WILMINGTON — Local gang member Shamar Keaton, also known as “Sleeze” and “Sleeze Ru Gambino,” 32, of Wilmington, was sentenced to 135 months in prison for drug trafficking. According to law enforcement, Keaton was a member of the United Blood Nation in Wilmington.

Keaton was arrested on March 16, 2022, after an individual “working at the direction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives” set up a deal involving a drug transaction and learned about the possibility of obtaining a “ghost gun.” The term is used for a privately manufactured firearm without serial numbers or other identifying marks and cannot be traced by law enforcement.

According to court documents, on March 5, 2022, the ATF individual made a controlled purchase for approximately two ounces of pure methamphetamine. During the deal, Keaton said that he had a 9mm ghost gun and explained it would cost $600 to get all the parts. His source charged $200 to assemble the gun, he alleged. The exchange prompted his arrest.  

On December 15, 2021, the same ATF individual purchased more than 20 grams of methamphetamine from Keaton. Keaton was wearing an ankle monitor, ordered to by the North Carolina State Court system. Keaton had a prior state conviction for possession of a stolen firearm.

This arrest was part of “Operation Golfer,” an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launders, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

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