Local News

Crack Sentencing Changes Could Free 500

Posted December 14, 2007 2:02 p.m. EST

— Nearly 500 convicted drug dealers in eastern North Carolina could soon be released from federal prison because of changes in sentencing guidelines, U.S. Attorney George Holding said Friday.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission decided this week to apply recent changes in federal sentencing guidelines that shortened sentences for crack cocaine crimes retroactively.

More than 20,000 convicted crack cocaine offenders nationwide could seek a reduction in their sentences.

“My office will be working hard to protect the public as we work through this process,” Holding said in a statement. “Crack cocaine remains a plague which affects some of our most vulnerable neighborhoods and citizens. Despite these changes in the law, my office remains committed to the aggressive investigation and prosecution of those involved in crack cocaine crimes."