DRUG TRAFFICKER PLEADS GUILTY, GOES TO PRISON

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NEW BERN – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Craven County Superior Court last week, JOSE ALEJANDRO LINARES, 26, of New Bern, pled guilty to seven felony drug-related offenses, and was sentenced to prison for 70 to 93 months (approximately 6 to 8 years). The cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Chekesha Hukins, and the presiding judge was Superior Court Judge Charles Henry.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) received information regarding a shipment of narcotics scheduled to be delivered in Craven County, The SBI requested the assistance of CNET investigators, who set up surveillance in the area. (CNET is the Coastal Narcotics Enforcement Team, a multi-agency drug investigation unit, which includes, among other agencies, the New Bern Police Department and the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, who participated in this operation.) Once the target vehicle containing the drugs was identified and located, investigators followed the vehicle to Linares’ residence. The officers observed the driver drop off the drugs and leave the scene. Several investigators stopped the vehicle while others secured the residence immediately to await a search warrant. Police found $ 7600 in cash in the center console of the car. While waiting for the search warrant to be issued, police asked Linares if he would consent to a search of the residence, and he did consent. Investigators then seized 56.59 grams of cocaine, 444.55 grams of marijuana, 499.54 grams of methamphetamine, $ 6750 in cash, and two firearms. Linares provided a lengthy statement admitting his involvement in the drug distribution operation. He stated that he contacted his source in Mexico and ordered the drugs for a buyer out of Virginia. The source shipped the narcotics and arranged for the delivery driver to bring the drugs to Linares, who was supposed to hold the drugs to await the Virginia buyer.


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Linares pled guilty to the following felony offenses: Trafficking in Methamphetamine; Trafficking in Cocaine; Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Methamphetamine; Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Cocaine; Felony

Possession of Marijuana; Maintaining a Dwelling for Controlled Substances; and Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon.

Judge Henry sentenced Linares to 70 to 93 months in prison, and ordered him to pay a mandatory $ 50,000 fine, the court costs, and laboratory analysis fees. The North Carolina Department of Revenue levied a controlled substance tax against Linares, and the $ 6750 found in his possession was applied to that tax bill. The remaining money from the vehicle was forfeited to the Craven County school system. The firearms were forfeited to law enforcement for their use or sale.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office (ICE) also placed a detainer on Linares, and he is subject to being removed from the United States upon completion of his sentence.

In addition to the SBI and CNET, several other law enforcement agencies participated in the operation, including the Moore County Sheriff’s Office, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office.

NOTE: Under North Carolina Structured Sentencing law, a convicted criminal defendant must serve all of the minimum active sentence and may be required to serve up to the maximum sentence. Upon release at the conclusion of the prison sentence, a nine to twelve month period of post-release supervision by a probation officer is required.

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