Wilmington man receives more than 6 years in prison for drug, gun offenses

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(Photo: Wilmington Police Department)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man was sentenced today after pleading guilty to multiple charges on March 30th.

31-year-old Rasul Gatford received just over 6 years (74 months) in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack) and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, in October of 2021, members of the Wilmington Police Department Vice and Narcotics Unit began an investigation into Gatford after receiving information concerning his drug trafficking activities.

On October 28, 2021, Gatford was arrested by the Wilmington Police Department for distributing crack cocaine and, during his arrest, officers located a quantity of crack cocaine on Gatford’s person. A search warrant of Gatford’s home also revealed an additional quantity of crack cocaine, marijuana, drug manufacturing equipment, and a firearm.

At the time of this offense, Gatford was on Federal Supervised Release for a 2013 conviction for Using, Carrying, and Brandishing a Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime and Aiding and Abetting (7:13-CR-10-1BO).

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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