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Kannapolis man gets 180 months in prison after $100,000 worth of narcotics found in his apartment

KANNAPOLIS — A 38-year-old man received a sentence of 180 months in federal prison on Friday after pleading guilty to distributing fentanyl and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

Martin William Luther Hamilton of Kannapolis was sentenced in federal court after an investigation found narcotics worth an estimated $100,000 in his apartment, as well as other paraphernalia, according to court documents. The investigation began after Kannapolis Police received a tip Hamilton was storing narcotics and firearms in his unit at the Vive at Kellswater Apartment Homes, which is located near the intersection of Rogers Lake Road and Kannapolis Parkway.

Hamilton pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and one count of a felon in possession of a firearm. Other charges were dismissed as a condition of the plea. He previously was convicted of felony charges that included accessory after the fact to second-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling.

In addition to 180 months in prison, U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs ordered Hamilton to serve five years of supervised release and pay $200.

Court documents show Kannapolis Police seized their first evidence when officers conducted surveillance in the parking lot of Hamilton’s apartment complex. An investigator watched as Hamilton exited his apartment, placed a bag of trash in a rented truck and drove it to a compactor. The investigator retrieved the trash from the compactor and found items used to make crack cocaine, including baking soda and inositol powder, which are common cutting agents, court documents state. There were small pieces of a white flaky substance inside of paper towels that tested positive for cocaine.

Kannapolis Police obtained a search warrant to place a tracking device on Hamilton’s truck and stopped him on Feb. 13 for charges unrelated to the ongoing investigation. During the stop, officers seized $578, an iPhone, Samsung phone and keys. No narcotics were found during the search.

Police also executed a search warrant for Hamilton’s apartment on Feb. 13 and used one of the seized keys to get inside. Court documents say they found 784 grams of fentanyl, 298.5 grams of crack cocaine, 3.5 grams of cocaine hydrochloride, a small amount of marijuana, prescription pills, supplies used to make crack cocaine, $22,878 and a pistol.

In addition to the Kannapolis Police Department, the case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig M. Principe.

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