A validated gang member from Wilmington was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to drug and weapon charges.
Diquelle Sweet, 22, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin, five counts of distribution of a quantity of heroin, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
From June-August 2017, undercover officers with the Wilmington Police Department's Gang Unit purchased heroin from Diquelle Sweet five times.
On June 27, 2017, Sweet was shot in the chest during a shootout with another person, according to witnesses.
During a traffic stop on Oct. 10, 2017, Bladen County deputies and Elizabethtown police found two loaded firearms in a vehicle occupied by Sweet, who had been convicted of a felony and was prohibited from having a firearm.
The next day, New Hanover County detectives witnessed a hand-to-hand exchange of drugs between Sweet and another person. When detectives attempted to conduct a traffic stop, Sweet drove onto a sidewalk, crashed into a vehicle and fled on foot before being caught with $2,945 in his possession.
The driver of the second vehicle was injured and transported to Cape Fear Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Sweet's case is part of the Take Back North Initiative, which emphasizes regional assignment of federal prosecutors to reduce violent crime, drug trafficking and crimes against law enforcement.
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