NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - A Wilmington man will spend the next five and a half to ten years in prison after pleading guilty on Monday to several drug and firearm-related offenses.
John Brooks, specifically pleaded guilty to one count of possession of firearm by felon, one count of possession of stolen firearm, one count of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
“The distribution of drugs and the illegal possession of firearms is a dangerous combination that has caused a great deal of violence in our community. Thanks to the hard work of both the Wilmington Police Department and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, this defendant and his weapons and narcotics were taken off the street before greater harm could occur,” Assistant District Attorney Brad Matthews said in a news release.
Brooks’ charges stemmed from two separate drug and firearm offenses in early 2018, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The first incident occurred on Feb. 20, 2018, when officers discovered 1.33 grams of crack cocaine in Brooks’ vehicle during a traffic stop in the 600 block of Queen Street.
Then, on April 17, 2018, 3.92 grams of crack cocaine was found hidden in the engine compartment of his Chevrolet HHR during another traffic stop in the 900 block of Dawson Street. Further investigation revealed Brooks had more narcotics stored underneath his Oldsmobile Cutlass, which was parked on Barnett Avenue.
Underneath the vehicle was a black grocery bag containing 8.79 grams of cocaine, 2.53 grams of heroin and two handguns, one of which was found to be stolen. Brooks was a convicted felon at the time with prior convictism of drug and firearm offenses.
“Prosecuting career offenders, especially those found possessing illegal guns and large quantities of narcotics like this defendant, will always be a top priority in our office,” District Attorney Ben David said.
Police officers and narcotics detectives with the Wilmington Police Department and deputies from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office investigated these cases. The State was represented by Assistant District Attorney Brad Matthews, and the defendant was represented by Attorney Chris Oring.