06/19/08 — Duplin man sentenced on federal drug charges

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Duplin man sentenced on federal drug charges

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on June 19, 2008 1:45 PM

RALEIGH -- United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that Anthony Morris Jr., 28, of Warsaw, was sentenced in federal court by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle to 180 months' imprisonment after Morris pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and more than five kilograms of cocaine base and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

This case was part of a three-year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force multi-jurisdictional firearms, narcotics and money laundering investigation code-named "Maple Leaf," that primarily targeted a Honduran and Mexican organization.

The investigation revealed that the organization smuggled large quantities of cocaine and marijuana across the southwestern border to eastern North Carolina.

It then smuggled firearms and U.S. currency back to Honduras and Mexico to arm and support its members as well as other violent criminal gangs in Central America.

The operation included 14 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies from two regions, four districts and four states. As a result, 60 individuals were prosecuted on federal and state firearms and narcotics charges. Seized were more than 25 kilograms of cocaine and crack, a pound of crystal methamphetamine, 700 pounds of marijuana, $100,000 in cash, 94 firearms, 3 homes, 14 vehicles and thousands of dollars worth of personal property.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Wilmington police and the sheriff's offices of Duplin and Pender counties.