(STL.News) – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced Christopher Edward Raleigh , 35, of Clayton, North Carolina to 120 months imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
Raleigh was named in a Criminal Information filed on May 16, 2019 charging him with two-counts of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. On July 11, 2019, Raleigh pled guilty to the charges.
On January 6, 2019, deputies with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) responded to a suspicious vehicle call at a home in Clayton. Upon arrival, deputies observed Raleigh asleep inside the vehicle. Deputies had to shake Raleigh to wake him up and observed narcotics in plain view. A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of 1 gram of cocaine, 0.22 gram of heroin (11 dosage units), 14.9 grams of Suboxone, drug paraphernalia, and a .25 caliber handgun. Subsequent to Raleigh’ arrest, he provided an unprotected statement acknowledging that he was a drug addict. Deputies attempted to question Raleigh about the firearm; however, he had fallen asleep.
On February 24, 2019, officers with the Clayton Police Department responded to a report that Raleigh was passed out behind the wheel of a truck with the brakes depressed. Law enforcement officials learned Raleigh was also wanted by the JCSO. As officers opened the driver’s door to get Raleigh out of the vehicle, a concealed 9mm handgun fell to the floor. The firearm was secured, and Raleigh was taken into custody without incident. Thereafter, a search of his vehicle resulted in the seizure of 84.1 grams of marijuana, 12.2 grams of Suboxone, drug paraphernalia, and $1,084 in U.S. currency.
In summation, Raleigh is accountable for possession of two firearms in connection with his drug trafficking crimes. Specifically, he possessed with intent to sell a total of 84.1 grams of marijuana, 0.22 gram of heroin, 27.1 grams of Suboxone, and 1 gram of cocaine. On July 18, 2019, the defendant submitted a written statement accepting responsibility for his involvement in these crimes.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and the Clayton Police Department investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel W. Smith represented the government.