CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The leader of a Gaston County drug trafficking ring and two of his associates were sentenced to prison Thursday.
Anthony Jarbar Pettus, 35, of Gastonia, was sentenced to 168 months in prison and five years of supervised release.
James Michael Hardin, 54, of Gastonia, was sentenced to 120 months in prison and five years of supervised release and Albert Hankerson, 65, of Gastonia, was sentenced to 72 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
According to court documents and sentencing hearings, from 2007 to 2017, the three men operated a drug conspiracy responsible for trafficking between 840 and 2,800 grams of crack cocaine in and around Gaston County.
Pettus was the leader of the drug ring, while Hardin and Hankerson were runners.
According to court records, over the course of the conspiracy, officials seized narcotics, drug paraphernalia, at least 11 firearms and more than $25,000 in cash.
In making Thursday's announcement U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Charlotte Division; ICE/Homeland Security Investigations; and the Gastonia Police Department for their investigation of the case