Drug Trafficker Sentenced To 35 Years In Prison

A Sampson County man has been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison after being convicted for distributing large quantities of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines along with laundering money.

Martin Acosta pled guilty to the charges in August 2016. He was sentenced last Wednesday in federal court in Raleigh. Acosta pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, five hundred grams or more of methamphetamine, and one hundred kilograms or more of marijuana, as well as conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

A second defendant, Noe Barreiro from McAllen, Texas was sentenced to 7 years in prison for conspiracy to launder money. He had pled guilty to the federal charge last August.

In 2009, the Drug Enforcement Administration identified a drug trafficking organization led by brothers Manual Acosta and Martin Acosts. Investigators determined that the organization would hide narcotics in shipments of fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes from Mexico into Texas, and then to various locations in the United States.

In North Carolina, the organization primarily distributed cocaine and marijuana in Sampson County. The brothers also distributed narcotics, including methamphetamine and cocaine, from Texas to Illinois and from Florida to Georgia.

In total, investigators determined that the ringleaders were responsible for distributing more than 50,000 kilograms of cocaine and laundering more than $3 million in drug proceeds.

The case was investigated by the DEA Strike Force, the Vance County Sheriff’s Office, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (ATF).