Hickory Man Is Sentenced To Nearly 20 Years In Prison On Drug And Gun Charges

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced Koby Dale Tevepaugh, 32, of Hickory, N.C., to 235 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for drug trafficking and firearm offenses, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

According to filed documents and court proceedings, between September and November 2021, Tevepaugh trafficked large amounts of methamphetamine in and around Catawba County. On November 10, 2021, Tevepaugh shot a firearm at a neighbor and proceeded to barricade himself in his home. Court records show that Tevepaugh eventually surrendered to law enforcement. Upon his surrender, law enforcement seized from Tevepaugh’s residence four kilograms of methamphetamine, $189,270 in cash, and five firearms. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized an additional $22,465 in drug proceeds. Tevepaugh has multiple prior convictions for Breaking and Entering, First Degree Burglary, and felony drug offenses, which resulted in an increased sentence.

Tevepaugh previously pleaded guilty to three counts of distribution of, and possession with intent to distribute, methamphetamine and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.  He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

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This case is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation which has led to the federal prosecution of more than 60 individuals for drug trafficking. Law enforcement have also seized more than 27 kilograms of cocaine, 3.5 kilograms of heroin, 29 kilograms of fentanyl, 49 kilograms of methamphetamine, 70 firearms, more than $385,000 in cash, and over $800,000 in other property. 

OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles criminal organizations using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King commended the Homeland Security Investigations; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations; the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office; Burke County Sheriff’s Office; the Hickory Police Department; the Morganton Department of Public Safety; the Longview Police Department; the Huntersville Police Department, and the Gastonia Police Department for their coordination and investigation of the case.

Assistant United States Attorney Steven Kaufman, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.