NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Two Wilmington gang members are heading to prison after pleading guilty to distributing heroin.
According to a news release from the US Department of Justice, Garry “Ratchet” Hines, 25, a high ranking gang member of the Nine Trey sect of the United Blood Nation, was sentenced to 23 years and fellow gang member Savon Hardaway, 23, was sentenced to nearly 13 years.
Hines and Hardaway both pleaded guilty to three counts of distribution of a quantity of heroin. Hardaway also pleaded to possession of a firearm by a felon.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force, which is made up of FBI Special Agents, Wilmington Police Department investigators and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office detectives began this investigation in March 2018. T
Between March 29 and July 21, 2018, the task force made several controlled purchases of heroin and/or a heroin/fentanyl mixture from Hines or someone sent by Hines from several locations in Wilmington.
On August 21, 2018, law enforcement developed information, which led them to believe that Hines and others were gathering up guns in order to take part in a retaliatory shooting of another group.
After receiving this information, law enforcement conducted surveillance on a home at North 5th Street. They saw Hardaway and another male leave the home and get into a car.
A traffic stop was conducted. Hardaway took off and attempted to hide a stolen .380 handgun and a .45 caliber handgun. Law enforcement recovered both handguns.
Ballistics showed the .45 caliber handgun had previously been used in prior shootings. The other person had a stolen 9mm handgun. This person has a pending federal indictment on another firearms charge.
On August 31, a federal search warrant was served on North 5th Street in Wilmington. Hines and Antwine “Big World” Lucas were arrested. Law enforcement found a handgun underneath the couch where Hines was seated when the search warrant was served.
Hines was also in possession of baggies that contained a mixture of fentanyl and methamphetamine. Previously, Lucas was sentenced in federal court for his criminal conduct in this organization and received a sentence of 188 months in federal prison.