An American citizen was sentenced to 21 years in prison for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy responsible for moving methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin from Mexico to Robeson County, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Jeremiah Eli Lowery pled guilty on Dec. 8, 2021, to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin, and possession of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin with intent to distribute.
“Deputies caught this drug trafficker bringing kilos of dope from Mexico to North Carolina,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “Now he faces the consequences of his repeated and persistent participation in the international drug trade. Today’s sentence should serve as a deterrent to others pushing drugs into our communities. We will investigate and prosecute you.”
According to court documents and other information presented in court, Lowery, 26, was identified during a multi-year investigation as a primary point of contact for a group of individuals who were trafficking kilograms of controlled substances from Mexico, through legal ports of entry, into the Brownsville, Texas area. Investigators learned that Lowery would travel to Texas, cross the border to meet with suppliers, and then personally transport kilograms of drugs across the border and ultimately back to Robeson County where the drugs would be sold.
The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on Oct. 14, 2020, on a rental vehicle occupied by Lowery and two other individuals as they returned from Texas. Investigators located 2.3 kilograms of methamphetamine, 2.98 kilograms of cocaine, 967.7 grams of heroin, and more than $58,000 in U.S. Currency inside the spare tire of the vehicle.
In the spring of 2021, investigators began to receive information that Lowery had resumed traveling to Texas to pick up controlled substances from the same suppliers. Through coordination with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Customs and Border Patrol, Lowery was stopped at a border checkpoint near Brownsville, Texas on the way back into the United States from Mexico on April 8, 2021. After a canine alerted to the presence of narcotics within the vehicle, officers recovered 2.8 kilograms of cocaine and 1.8 kilograms of methamphetamine from the spare tire.
Easley made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III.
The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Caroline Webb prosecuted the case.
An investigation is ongoing to determine if Lowery had any ties with the Mexican drug cartels.