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Leland man sentenced to 10 years on federal drug conviction

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RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on July 8, 2010, United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced LUIS ALBERTO BECERRA, 27, an illegal alien residing in Leland, North Carolina, to 120 months’ imprisonment followed by five years supervised release.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on June 24, 2009. On February 8, 2010, BECERRA pled guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack).

On March 31, 2009, BECERRA was arrested by deputies of the Pender County Sheriff’s Office and officers of the Topsail, the Surf City and the Holly Ridge Police Departments as he attempted to deliver 10 ounces of crack cocaine to a residence on Manhollow Church Road in Pender County. The investigation uncovered that BECERRA was delivering ounce-quantity amounts of cocaine into the Pender County area for the past nine months prior to his arrest on these charges. BECERRA was on probation for attempting to traffic in cocaine at the time of his arrest.

This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation entitled Don Quixote, investigating importers and multi-level distributors of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy and gang activity associated with this distribution. This organization is responsible for the importation and distribution of more than 230 kilograms of cocaine, more than 65 kilograms of crack cocaine, 3 kilograms of heroin, 20,000 Ecstacy pills and several kilograms of marijuana into Eastern North Carolina since 2003. To date, 37 people have been sentenced in federal court as a part of this operation. Investigation of the case is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the Federal Bureau of Investigations Safe Streets Task Force (Wilmington); the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations; the Wilmington Police Department; the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office; the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office; the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office; the Pender County Sheriff’s Office; the Holly Ridge Police Department; the Topsail Police Department and the Surf City Police Department.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo represents the government. Mr. Severo is a prosecutor with the New Hanover District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Ben David has assigned him to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force criminal matters. This has been made possible by a grant funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission and the New Hanover County Commissioners.

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