Lenoir man found guilty of drug trafficking, other offenses

A Lenoir man has been found guilty in federal court in Statesville of drug trafficking and other charges, Acting U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose said.

Roger Dale Franklin, 54, was convicted Wednesday of nine offenses, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

From 2007 to 2014, Franklin and his co-conspirators sold more than 5 kilograms of methamphetamine that had a street value of more than $150,000, according to evidence presented at his two-day trial.

In 2013, officers in Caldwell County and in Morganton stopped Franklin in vehicles four times and seized methamphetamine. On two of the stops, Franklin had guns with him, prosecutors said Thursday.

Franklin’s case was part of Operation “Dixie Crystal,” an investigation that has resulted in the conviction of more than 50 defendants on methamphetamine trafficking and firearms charges, prosecutors said.

Franklin was indicted by a federal grand jury in December and has been in federal custody since February.

He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years to life and a fine of up to $10 million, prosecutors said. His sentencing date has yet to be set.

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