Hickory, N.C., man sentenced to more than 10 years for drug trafficking and firearms offenses
STATESVILLE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray announced today that Tevin Jerome Gaither, 29, of Hickory, N.C., was sentenced to 123 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release on drug trafficking and firearms offenses, announced U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Andrew Murray. U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell presided over the sentencing hearing.
DEA Atlanta Division Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Murphy, which oversees the Charlotte District Office, and Hickory Police Chief Thurman Whisnant join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.
According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, from at least August 2017 until the day of his arrest in March 2019, Gaither was involved in a drug conspiracy operating in Hickory and elsewhere in Catawba County. Gaither sold cocaine and crack cocaine primarily out of his residence in Hickory. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Gaither’s residence, and seized narcotics, cash, ammunition and multiple firearms, some of which were loaded.
“Each time an armed drug dealer is sent to prison, it is a win in our fight to keep our communities safe,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “Thanks to the investigative work and coordination between the DEA and the Hickory Police Department, Gaither will be serving a 10-year prison sentence.”
“Citizens of Catawba County can feel safer knowing that this crack and cocaine trafficker was removed from their community,” said Special Agent in Charge Murphy. “This defendant dealt illegal drugs and protected his ill-gotten gains with weapons. He will now spend well-deserved time in prison. This investigation was a success because DEA, its law enforcement partners, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office presented a united front to protect and serve.”
“We greatly appreciate the continued partnership with the DEA and the U. S. Attorney’s Office to help keep Hickory safe,” said Chief Whisnant.
On July 22, 2019, Gaither pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Gaither is currently detained and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray commended the DEA and the Hickory Police Department for their investigation of this case.
Assistant United States Attorney Sanjeev Bhasker, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.
The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov. Also follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv.
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