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Bertie man faces federal charges

WINDSOR – A Bertie County man is facing federal charges.

Joseph Williams aka &uot;Lil Joe&uot; is facing five federal counts that carry a sentence of 40 years to life in federal prison and one that carries life in prison.

Williams was arrested in May of this year after an extensive narcotics investigation by the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office. That operation, which lasted nearly five months, was led by Detective Sgt. Frank Timberlake and Detective Kenny Gillam.

&uot;Williams has had the reputation for being a drug dealer for a long period of time,&uot; Det. Sgt. Timberlake said.

After the investigation, warrants were obtained for Williams’s arrest. He was charged with two counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine, two counts of sell and deliver crack cocaine, two counts of maintaining a vehicle as a place to keep, store and sell crack cocaine and two counts of violating the conditions of release.

He was placed under a $500,000 cash bond.

The arrest led to the United State Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) becoming involved in the case.

Williams was out on bond awaiting trial when he was arrested on May 6 for five separate undercover purchases of cocaine base.

After the arrest, Detectives Timberlake and Gillam conducted hours of investigation that led to an arrest warrant being issued by a Federal Grand Jury on Wednesday, July 6

In the early morning hours of July 15, the detectives transported Williams to Raleigh for his first appearance where he was placed into the custody of the United States Marshall’s Service.

His detention hearing was slated for 9 a.m., Wednesday July 20 at the Federal Courthouse in Raleigh.

Count one is conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base which is a Violation of Title 21 841 (a) (1) while count two is six counts of distributing cocaine base in violation of the same code.

After being arrested on federal warrants, the sate charges were dropped allowing for federal prosecution.

&uot;We want the citizens of Bertie County to know the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office is working hard to make the county a safer place to live,&uot; Det. Timberlake said. &uot;We would not have been able to make this arrest if it were not for some brave citizens who took a stand against drugs being sold in their community.

&uot;Without the help of the public, our job would be almost impossible,&uot; he added. &uot;It is our hope the citizens will keep calling with complaints of illegal activity and we will continue to do our best to investigate those complaints.&uot;

Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins said he was glad to see Williams off the street.

&uot;He was a significant drug dealer in Bertie County, especially the Windsor area,&uot; Atkins said. &uot;We definitely needed to get him off the street and I’m glad we were able to do that.&uot;

The sheriff also indicated he was pleased with the work of his Narcotics Division.

&uot;I credit the work of Frank and Kenny, not just in this case, but in a lot of cases they’ve handled,&uot; Atkins said. &uot;We’ve got a long way to go and there’s more to come.&uot;