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Joseph William Patton
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Hickory Man Sentenced To 14 Years In Federal Meth Trafficking Case

U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced 34-year-old Joseph William Patton of Hickory to 168 months (14 years) in prison followed by five years of supervised release in a methamphetamine trafficking case. The sentence was imposed Tuesday (November 7) according to Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Catawba County Sheriff Don Brown, Caldwell County Sheriff Alan Jones and Hickory Police Chief Reed Baer joined U.S. Attorney King in making Tuesday’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Patton was operating as a major source of supply of methamphetamine in Catawba and Caldwell Counties. Between April and December 2022, law enforcement conducted a joint investigation into Patton’s drug trafficking activities, including arranging multiple controlled purchases of methamphetamine from the defendant.

On December 12, 2022, law enforcement initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle Patton was a passenger in for an expired tag violation. During the traffic stop, law enforcement recovered from the vehicle a firearm, $5,448 in cash, and several baggies filled with methamphetamine, fentanyl, and Xanax pills. On the same day, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Patton’s residence, where they recovered 9 mm rifle and four magazines.

On July 20, 2023, Patton pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Patton is in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. The ATF, the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hickory Police Department conducted the investigation.