Passenger in vehicle involved with death of WPD officer sentenced for drug possession
Matthew Hendy (Source: New Hanover County Jail)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Almost three years after a Wilmington
Police officer was killed, a man who was in the vehicle involved with
the fatal car chase was sentenced to over 11 years in prison for drug
Matthew Gerard Hendy, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiring
to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute more than 50
kilograms of marijuana, money laundering by concealment, and possession
of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to a
news release from U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker.
investigation, the Wilmington man was found to be a part of a drug
trafficking organization that was importing high-quality marijuana in
bulk amounts from Canada through New York. He was responsible for
distributing more than 150 kilograms of marijuana in hockey bags with a
street value of more than $1 million from late 2007 until February 2009,
according to Walker's description of Hendy's crimes.
Hendy and a
co-conspirator, who were traveling in separate cars in March 2008, took a
N.C. Highway Patrol trooper on a high-speed chase in Johnston County
before Hendy was stopped with more than $192,000. Two months later,
Hendy and three others were intercepted by deputies in Broome County,
New York. The deputies reportedly found several empty hockey bags that
smelled like marijuana, a vacuum sealer and a money-counting machine.
crime spree continued in 2009 when Hendy and three others planned to
rip off a drug dealer in Charlotte. They indicated that they would pay
more than $25,000 for five pounds of marijuana. They exchanged the
marijuana for a small quantity of money and newspaper in Wilmington,
according to Walker, and then another car chase ensued.
following morning, Wilmington Police officers recognized a car that
matched the description of an unrelated criminal offense. During the
chase, one of Hendy's co-conspirators threw a Glock .40 caliber handgun
out of the car and came to a stop. Before the officers could approach
the car, it accelerated and drove off.
The officers radioed for
assistance and WPD Officer Richard Matthews responded. While driving on
Shipyard Boulevard, officials say that Matthews lost control of his
patrol car and was killed.
Officers noticed pound-sized plastic
bags containing marijuana being thrown from the vehicle that Hendy was
inside of. After throwing out five bags, the criminals stopped the
vehicle and were arrested. The following day the handgun was also
Hendy was reportedly sentenced to 138 months of
imprisonment followed by five years of supervised released. He was not
charged with the death of Matthews.