Man sentenced to 11 years in prison for trafficking drugs in Wilmington

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Qwanelle Ruffin, also known as “El Patron,” 28, of New Hanover County was sentenced Friday to 11 years in prison for a dozen drug charges.

He pleaded guilty to the following charges on July 8, 2020:

  • Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With Intent to Distribute One Hundred (100) Grams or More of Heroin
  • 3 counts of Distribution of a Quantity of Heroin and Aiding and Abetting;
  • 7 counts of Distribution of a Quantity of Heroin
  • Possession With Intent to Distribute One Hundred (100) Grams or More of Heroin and Aiding and Abetting

According to court documents and evidence presented in court, a search warrant was served by the Wilmington Police Department at an apartment at River Front Place on June 28, 2019. Ruffin, Darion Graham and a third person lived at the apartment. While the police were conducting the search, Graham and the other person arrived at the apartment complex. They took off after seeing the police but were ultimately taken into custody. The search revealed approximately 761 grams of heroin/fentanyl mixture, a quantity of bagged heroin and more than $16,000 in cash. Ruffin was arrested at a nearby bank.

The investigation uncovered that Ruffin had also been packaging and storing heroin for distribution at homes on Spring Street and 13th Street in Wilmington. Ruffin had been robbed of heroin on two occasions.

Between November 2018 and June 2019, the Wilmington Police Department assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Gang Unit conducted numerous controlled purchases of heroin from Ruffin and people that he had deliver for him. The locations were throughout Wilmington.

According to law enforcement, Ruffin was a validated gang member.

Darion Graham was sentenced previously for his role in this drug trafficking organization and received a prison sentence of more than 30 years in prison.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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