A man from Bertie County who for five years ran a drug trafficking organization that supplied illegal drugs to communities in the area has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison, according to a press release from the US prosecutor’s office.
Levar Anthony Leary, 41, was convicted in August of trafficking cocaine, crack and methamphetamine and conspiracy to launder money, US prosecutor Michael Easley said on Wednesday.
According to Easley, U.S. District Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Leary organized and led a drug trafficking organization from 2016 to early 2021 that distributed cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana in northeastern North Carolina.
Easley said Leary and his “associates” used a hotel, nightclub and convenience store in Bertie to distribute drugs and launder money. Narcotics officers were able to track and observe Leary’s travels across the country, including California, Texas, Florida and Georgia, where he obtained large amounts of illegal drugs and returned to North Carolina, a Easley said.
Some of those helping Leary’s drug trafficking organization have already been convicted and sentenced, Easley said. They include Johnny Earl Jordan, who was sentenced to six years; Fred Rudolph Robbins Jr., sentenced to 7.5 years; and Alexander Leander Williams Jr., sentenced to 11 years.
As a result of the investigation, law enforcement seized numerous vehicles and properties which Easley said were used to conceal profits from Leary’s illegal activities. Investigators also recovered a number of firearms and illegal drugs.
Perquimans County Sheriff Shelby White said Leary allegedly supplied drugs to individual drug dealers who operated in Perquimans. White said his office assisted with the investigation and added that almost every county in the area had at least one officer who assisted with the investigation.
Pasquotank Sheriff Tommy Wooten said Leary was also a supplier for drug vendors at Pasquotank. He said his office and the Elizabeth City Police Department both have officers known as “task force officers” who are certified to work on federal investigations. These officers, who are assigned to work with the Albemarle Drug Task Force, aided in the Leary investigation.
In his press release, Easley said agents from the FBI, the IRS’s Criminal Investigations Division and the NC State Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation into Leary that led to his conviction and conviction. But those agencies were assisted by a number of other law enforcement agencies, including the Bertie, Chowan, Perquimans, Dare, Hertford and Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Offices and the Elizabeth City Police Department.