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Bishop sentenced to seven years behind bars

RALEIGH – An Ahoskie man will spend the next seven years behind bars for a variety of drug-related crimes.

On Thursday in Raleigh, Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced 43-year-old Tio Antwione Bishop to a total of 84 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.

United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. made the announcement of Judge Boyle’s sentencing decision.

Higdon added that Bishop was named in an eight-count indictment filed in federal court on Oct. 10, 2018, charging him with distribution and possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine, and cocaine base (crack), as well as possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon.

On Feb. 19 of this year, Bishop pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and cocaine base (crack), as well as possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to the investigation, Bishop sold cocaine on five occasions in 2018 from his home, which was located within 1,000 feet from an elementary school. On March 16, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Bishop’s home where they located a loaded .410 gauge shotgun, a stolen 12-gauge shotgun, cocaine, crack cocaine, pills, digital scales and over $7,000 in currency.

Bishop received a sentencing enhancement for maintaining a home for the purpose of manufacturing or distributing controlled substances.

This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Office’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

For more information about this initiative, visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-ednc/tbnc.

Investigation of this enforcement operation was conducted by the Down East Drug Task Force, Hertford County Sheriff’s Office, Bertie County Sheriff’s Office, Ahoskie Police Department, and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Dena King represented the government.