Two Armed Methamphetamine Traffickers Are Handed Down Lengthy Prison Terms

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney sentenced Lawrence Jeffrey Brooks, 41, of Mount Holly, N.C., to 396 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release, and Dustin Blair Henry, 39, of Charlotte, to 235 months in prison and five years of supervised release for drug trafficking and firearms offenses, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

According to filed documents and information introduced at the sentencing hearings,

Brooks was the leader of a large drug trafficking organization operating in Mecklenburg County, of which Henry was a member. Court records show that, over the course of the drug conspiracy, the defendants conducted multiple drug transactions involving the sale of methamphetamine and illegally possessed firearms.

According to court documents, on January 29, 2019, law enforcement learned that Henry, who at the time was on post-release supervision stemming from a state drug conviction, sold methamphetamine to an individual. As a result, law enforcement conducted a search of Henry’s residence and seized four firearms, which Henry was prohibited from possessing. In February 2019, Brooks and Henry robbed at gun point two individuals over the course of a drug transaction. And, on May 14, 2019, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of Brooks’s vehicle, from which they seized one kilogram of methamphetamine and two handguns that belonged to Brooks. As a convicted felon, Brooks is prohibited from possessing firearms. During a subsequent search of Brooks’s storage unit, law enforcement seized eight kilograms of methamphetamine.

On April 28, 2022, Brooks pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Henry pleaded guilty on February 26, 2020, to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Both men are currently in custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

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

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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 Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, the Huntersville Police Department, the Gastonia Police Department, and the Mount Holly Police Department for their coordination and investigation of the case.

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