Due to an earlier than expected leaf fall, along with continued staffing challenges and inclement…
A man has been found guilty of coordinating drug trafficking in Catawba and Burke Counties along with surrounding communities. The defendant ran the operation from a Georgia prison.
A federal jury in Statesville convicted 43-year-old Alfonso Roman Brito of trafficking methamphetamine. The announcement was made Thursday (December 15) by Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Catawba County Sheriff Don Brown and Burke County Sheriff Banks Hinceman joined U.S. Attorney King in making the announcement. U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell presided over the three-day trial which ended on Wednesday (December 14).
According to filed court documents, evidence introduced at trial and witness testimony, in 2019, HSI, the DEA, the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, and the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office were investigating a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) operating in the Catawba County, Burke County, and surrounding communities.
Trial evidence established that Brito was an inmate in the Georgia Department of Corrections and was coordinating the shipments of multiple kilograms of methamphetamine from the Atlanta area into the Western District of North Carolina. According to information presented at trial, between 2019 and into the fall of 2021, Brito orchestrated the delivery of more than 100 kilograms of methamphetamine from Georgia into North Carolina.
The federal jury convicted Brito of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute meth and distribution of meth, which carries a maximum term of life in prison and a $10,000 fine. Brito remains in federal custody, he was last reported to be an inmate in the Jenkins Correctional Facility in Millen, GA where he was serving a 30 year prison sentence following a 2017 conviction for incest. A sentencing date on the Federal charges had not been set.
In making Thursday’s announcement U.S. Attorney King commended the DEA, HSI, the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, and the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office for leading the investigation. U.S. Attorney King also thanked the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, the Newton Police Department, the Hickory Police Department, and the Georgia Department of Corrections for their assistance in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hess of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville is prosecuting the case.