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Mark Vincent Dean will serve 6 ½ years in federal prison for his part in a plan to distribute cocaine, court records show.

District Judge James C. Dever III in Raleigh today sentenced Dean after he pleaded guilty to counts 1 and 4. He was named in a federal indictment in August.

According to the minute entries in the court record the 78 months are to be served concurrently and after his sentence is completed he will be subject to four years of supervised release.

He has to pay a $200 special assessment and must enter the “most intensive substance abuse treatment” program the federal Bureau of Prisons offers as well as take advantage of any vocational or educational opportunities offered.

Count 3 of the indictment was dismissed and Dever advised Dean of his right to appeal. Dever ordered Dean to be taken to the federal prison in Butner and remanded him to the custody of the United States Marshals Service.

Dean took a plea for the distribution of 5 kilos and the aiding and abetting Shermarquette Whitaker to distribute 500 kilos or more of cocaine.

The charge reflecting the distribution of 500 kilos or more of cocaine stems from a 2019 traffic stop in Wilson County in which more than 10 pounds were seized in a joint operation with the Roanoke Rapids Police Department, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. Both Dean and Whitaker were charged with trafficking cocaine in that case.

The count dismissed against Dean was a charge of aiding and abetting the distribution of a quantity of cocaine.

Whitaker has entered a not guilty plea to charges levied against him last August alleging he is linked to the distribution of 5 kilos of cocaine, that he was a felon in possession of a firearm and that in September of 2019 he and Dean aided and abetted one another to possess and distribute 500 kilos or more of cocaine.

A trial date has not been set in Whitaker’s case and a third defendant, Jacobi Harvey, is scheduled for arraignment in June.