United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced CRYSTAL MARIE PATE, 32 from Lucama, North Carolina, to 138 months in prison, followed by 5 years of federal supervised release. PATE was part of a drug trafficking organization operating in the Wilson and Nash County region. On February 20, 2018, PATE pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With Intent to Distribute 5 Grams or More of Methamphetamine, and a Quantity of Heroin; and one count of Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime while Aiding and Abetting another.
In 2015, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) identified a drug-trafficking organization (DTO) led by PATE and her co-defendants. Shortly after identifying the suspects, the investigation into the DTO began.
The investigation consisted of the use surveillance, seizures, controlled PURCHASES of multiple types of drugs including heroin, methamphetamine, and assorted pills. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement executed a search warrant resulting in the recovery of drug packaging materials, quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, and other controlled substances.
The Court determined that PATE was responsible for the distribution of 10.38 grams of heroin and 23.81 grams of methamphetamine, and the possession of a firearm in furtherance of her drug trafficking activity – specifically a .44 Caliber Charter Arms handgun.
The case was investigated by the Wilson County Sherriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Brad Knott prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.