A joint investigation conducted by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies dismantled a narcotics trafficking network distributing methamphetamine in the Catawba Valley. During the course of this investigation law enforcement seized 20 illegal firearms, multiple kilograms of methamphetamine and more than $100,000 in US currency.
As a result of the investigation, four men, three of them from Catawba County, and a Burke County woman have been federally indicted.
Charles Ray Hildebran, 46, of Hickory; Phillip Anthony Godfrey, 47, of Newton; Britton Nicole Metcalf, 34, of Morganton; and Billy Dean Potter, 36, of Hickory were indicted federally for conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. These defendants were also charged with firearms offenses. Jeffrey Ben Pavkovich, 52, of Gainesville, Georgia has also been indicted in connection with this conspiracy.
All defendants are now in federal custody.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina; the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Charlotte and Atlanta; the Department of Homeland Security- Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation(SBI); the North Carolina Highway Patrol (SHP); the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Community Corrections; the Georgia Department of Corrections; the Burke County Sheriff’s Office; the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office; the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office; the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office; the Hickory Police Department; the Long View Police Department; and the Newton Police Department all participated in the investigation.
Catawba County Sheriff Don Brown commented: "Building and maintaining partnerships with local, state and federal agencies has been one of the biggest priorities of my administration. These partnerships are resulting in the highest quality of law enforcement services offered to our citizens. I thank each agency for their work in removing these drug traffickers from our community."