United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced on Feb. 11 that in federal court, Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard, sentenced Michael Delinda Stansbury, 47, of Littleton to 72 months’ imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
Stansbury was named in a seven-count Indictment on July 10, 2019, charging him with two counts each of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a felon, as well as one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.
On Oct. 15, 2019, he pled guilty to three counts: possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, possession of a firearm by a felon, and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.
According to the investigation, in January of 2017, members of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office conducted two controlled buys from Stansbury. The buys were for crack cocaine and took place at Stansbury’s residence in Littleton, N.C.
Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the house, which they executed on Jan.20, 2017. In Stansbury’s master bathroom, officers found a plastic bag containing smaller bags of powder and crack cocaine. In the bathroom closet, they found a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun, and in the master bedroom, they found a .22 caliber AR rifle hidden behind a dresser and two handguns in an air vent. Elsewhere in the house, they recovered a digital scale and additional amounts of crack and powder cocaine. Seven more firearms were recovered from a room above the garage. In total, officers seized over 20 grams of crack cocaine, 8 grams of powder cocaine, and 11 firearms.
Stansbury was prohibited from possessing firearms due to a prior state felony conviction for maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place for controlled substances.
Stansbury had a separate encounter with law enforcement on March 9, 2018. That day, a Halifax County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped a white Dodge Ram for failing to signal, after also finding that the registered owner had a suspended license. He identified the driver as Stansbury. A second officer arrived, and as they prepared to write a warning for the violation, Stansbury sped away in the car.
He fled at around 70 mph in a 45 mph zone, as officers pursued. After driving a short distance, he quickly took a turn, almost losing control. He then moved to the left side of the road and threw an object out of the window. After a couple of additional turns, the defendant parked in a driveway and was arrested without further incident.
One of the pursuing officers stopped where Stansbury had been seen throwing the object and recovered a bag of white powder, which was later confirmed to be 506 grams of cocaine.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.
Since 2017, the United States Department of Justice has reinvigorated the PSN program and has targeted violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
That effort has been implemented through the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices in those communities on a sustained basis to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.
The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh represented the government.