Duplin County Meth Dealer Gets 90 Months in Federal Prison

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Ashley Shackelford, 35, of Duplin County, was sentenced yesterday to 90 months imprisonment for: (1) Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute and Distribute 500 grams of a mixture and substance containing Methamphetamine; and (2) Possess with the Intent to Distribute of 500 grams of a mixture of substance containing Methamphetamine.

The evidence presented in court revealed that on June 30, 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration, (DEA) working with the Duplin County Narcotics Detectives, received information that Shackelford had recently been in possession of several ounces of methamphetamine and a firearm at her residence.  Agents developed additional information that Shackelford and another person were traveling to Atlanta, Georgia to pick up two pounds of methamphetamine and then returning to Eastern North Carolina.   On July 1, 2020, Sampson County Detectives stopped a car driven by Shackelford with a passenger in Newton Grove.  Detectives found more than a kilogram and half of methamphetamine in the car.  During the investigation law enforcement discovered that Shackelford had assisted in the delivery of more than two and a half kilograms of methamphetamine from Atlanta to Eastern North Carolina during 2020.

Additionally, in separate investigations, in February 2020, Mount Olive Police Officers conducted two controlled purchases of an ounce of methamphetamine on each occasion from Shackelford at her residence.  On December 2, 2017, Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a consensual search of Shackelford’s residence and found approximately 4 ounces of methamphetamine.

The investigation was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation.  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.  This OCDETF focuses on a Multi-State Drug Trafficking Organization and Gang Activity that has been responsible for the distribution of large quantities of extremely pure methamphetamine throughout the United States.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after the sentencing before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II.  The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Duplin, Sampson and Wilson County Sheriffs’ Offices and the Mount Olive Police Department took part in the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted the case.