WILMINGTON — Demetrice “Peanut” Parker, 47, of Waycross Georgia, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for illegal possession of a gun and his part in a drug trafficking conspiracy.

The conspiracy included the distribution of more than 37 kilograms of methamphetamine and 300 grams of heroin being trafficked from Georgia to North Carolina between 2018 and 2021, according to a release from Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Parker had previously been convicted on federal drug trafficking charges in Georgia. He was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II.

“This case is part of our ongoing efforts to dismantle the drug trafficking organizations bringing opioids and other illegal drugs into our communities,” Easley said. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute the responsible individuals to ensure that they are behind bars and off our streets.”

According to court documents, the evidence presented in court and other documents, on March 19, 2019, a Fayetteville police officer stopped a car for a traffic violation. Parker was seated in the back seat. During the traffic stop, the officer found a bag in the back seat which contained 200 grams of heroin, more than 100 grams of methamphetamine and 60 grams of cocaine and crack cocaine and a loaded stolen 9mm handgun.

On Oct. 22, 2019, Duplin County detectives made a controlled purchase of 171 grams of methamphetamine from Parker. During the investigation it was determined that Parker was a source of supply for Jeremy Cline in Duplin County. Cline received a 24-year federal prison sentence for his role in this conspiracy.

The DEA received information on Oct. 29, 2019 that Parker was transporting drugs from Atlanta, Georgia to Eastern North Carolina. Parker was stopped in Lumberton by the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, and a drug K-9 alerted to the odor of narcotics coming from the car. Deputies searched the car and found 1.2 kilograms of methamphetamine, 41 grams of cocaine, 139 grams of heroin and a loaded .38 caliber handgun.

Parker pled guilty on March 8 to the following charges: conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing Methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine, a quantity of cocaine and 100 grams or more of heroin; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

This is part of operation “Fighting JellyFish” which is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launders, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security; United States Postal Service; the Craven, Onslow, Robeson and Sampson County Sheriffs’ Offices; and the Fayetteville, New Bern, Kinston and Wallace Police Departments investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted the case.