Dunn man sentenced on drug charges

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A Dunn man was sentenced to 12 years in prison on federal drug trafficking and firearms offenses last week.

Chief U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced Ernest Terrell McKoy, 31, of Dunn to 144 months in prison followed by five years supervised release, U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr. announced Thursday.

Mr. McKoy was named in an indictment last November.

In January, he pleaded guilty to distribution of a quantity of methamphetamine and to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The indictments came after investigators with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives used a confidential informant to purchase an unspecified amount of methamphetamine from Mr. McKoy at his Dunn home.

Last July, Johnston County sheriff’s deputies conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle Mr. McKoy was driving.

A search resulted in the seizure of a stolen semi-automatic pistol, ammunition and a large-capacity magazine in a bag behind the front passenger seat, prosecutors said. An investigation determined that the firearm was reported stolen in Johnston County in September 2017.

In September 2018, Mr. McKoy was arrested on a federal firearm possession charge. Subsequent to his arrest, Mr. McKoy allegedly admitted to prosecutors he sold 85.05 grams (about 3 ounces) of methamphetamine every other day for an eight- or nine-month span.

Mr. McKoy also admitted to purchasing 7.0875 grams of heroin six times, adding up to a total of 42.53 grams (about 1 ½ ounces), according to federal prosecutors.

Mr. McKoy said he possessed the gun because he sold drugs. He said he traded 2 grams of narcotics and $400 in cash for the firearm.

A search of Mr. McKoy and his belongings in September 2018, prior to his initial appearance in federal court in Raleigh, resulted in the seizure of an unspecified amount of methamphetamine.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement to reduce violent crime and improve neighborhood safety.

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