Feds ending multi-agency drug operation

GOLDSBORO Operation Northern Star targeted the Julian Avilez trafficking ring, which had strong ties to Mexican cartels.

Investigators say it was responsible for importing and distributing hundreds of kilograms of powder cocaine and other illegal drugs.

The organization was based primarily in Goldsboro, but operated out of Wayne and Sampson counties as well.

Officials call these counties "prime territory" for major drug crimes.

"One thing it's fueled by is Eastern North Carolina has the fastest growing illegal immigrant population in the country, or at least one of the fastest growing," U.S. Attorney George Holding said.

Besides several other defendants prosecuted under the investigation, Rico Moses, a major distributor of crack cocaine in Goldsboro, received a sentence of 20 years and 3 months in prison.

Antwon Demetrius Peacock is currently serving a 17 years sentence for his distribution of several hundred grams of crack cocaine in the Goldsboro area.

Officials say there are currently 39 ongoing investigations similar to this one with ties to North Carolina.

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