RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - A man said to be one of the largest fentanyl distributors in Wilmington pleaded guilty to distributing drugs and was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
On Nov. 6, 2018, Shawqi Gray, 37, of Wilmington but originally from Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and a quantity of fentanyl, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Gray was sentenced Thursday in Raleigh.
According to a US Dept. of Justice news release, deputies with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office found more than 150 grams of a heroin-fentanyl mixture, more than 150 grams of a heroin-ketamine mixture, five handguns — two of which were stolen — and more than $47,000 in cash during a Nov. 30, 2017, search of Gray’s residence and a storage container on the property. The investigation found Gray moved more than 1.5 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl from July-November 2017.
In August 2016, Easton, Pa., police found 20 grams of heroin, 68 grams of crack cocaine and more than $19,000 in cash during a search of Gray's residence.
This investigation, part of the FBI-led Operation Tooth Fairy, is focused on the distribution of heroin from New Jersey to New Hanover, Brunswick, Bladen, Duplin, and Sampson counties and associated gang activities, according to the release.