DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 7, 2018
Robert J. Higdon, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Don Connelly

Willow Springs Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Drug and Explosive Offenses

NEW BERN – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced JAMES CURTIS DENTON, 37, of Willow Springs, North Carolina to 360 months imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release. On February 25, 2017, DENTON was found guilty by a federal jury of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine and possession and transportation of an explosive by a drug user with the intent to injure or kill an individual.

In the early morning of May 28, 2015, an improvised explosive device (IED) constructed of PVC pipe, black powder, and shrapnel was affixed under the vehicle of DENTON’S ex-spouse’s fiancé. Later that day, the IED exploded as the victim was driving down a neighborhood street. Fortunately, the victim was unharmed. During the investigation, it was discovered that DENTON was involved in drug use, and, as the drug investigation continued, evidence regarding DENTON’S motive to place the IED was revealed.

Investigators and the federal prosecutor were able to tie DENTON to the IED based on the statements and interviews of multiple witnesses, including a co-defendant who accompanied DENTON to the neighborhood when he placed the IED.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Cary Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jason Kellhofer represented the government.

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Field Division: Charlotte Field Division