DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

For Immediate Release

Monday, February 4, 2019
Robert J. Higdon, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Don Connelly

Armed Drug Trafficker from New Hanover County Receies More Than 11 Years in Prison

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced TONY MCNEIL, 28, of New Hanover County to 135 months imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release.


On October 18, 2018, MCNEIL pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and a quantity of cocaine and distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack).


On April 21, 2015, the Wilmington Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) received information that MCNEIL had just completed a drug deal in Pender County. Law enforcement stopped MCNEIL on his way to his residence in New Hanover County and searched his car and found a loaded handgun and more than $6,000. During the course of the investigation law enforcement determined that MCNEIL had just sold 2 ounces of cocaine.


Between April 23 and May 12, 2015, law enforcement made four controlled purchases of more than 300 grams of crack cocaine from MCNEIL. The first three deals were in Sampson County and the final sale was at his residence in New Hanover County. According to law enforcement, MCNEIL was responsible for distributing more than 1.5 kilograms of cocaine and 300 grams of crack cocaine from April to May 2015.


This case is part of the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.


The investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives, Wilmington Police Department, and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.


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