‘Career offender’ sentenced

Published 11:20 am Wednesday, January 26, 2011

RALEIGH – United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced in Federal Court here Tuesday that Wayne Dwight Simmons, 41, of Ahoskie will spend the next 204 months (17 years) in prison.

United States District Judge James C. Dever III handed down the sentence, deeming Simmons a “career offender’ in an enhanced sentence for a prior federal drug conviction.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on April 21, 2010. On July 6, 2010, Simmons pled guilty to distribution of a quantity of cocaine.

The case is part of Operation “Wildfire,” an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation sponsored by the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The investigation revealed that Simmons and his associates have been significant distributors of cocaine in the Hertford County area for many years. On July 22, 2009, July 24, 2009, and July 28, 2009, controlled purchases were made of 1.1 grams, 2.0 grams and 5.2 grams of cocaine powder, respectively, from Simmons.

Assistant United States Attorney J. Frank Bradsher represented the government.