Trafficking defendant found guilty

Published 9:12 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2013

 A Beaufort County jury returned a guilty verdict in the drug trafficking trial of Gregvon Satterthwaite Tuesday.

Satterthwaite was convicted of four counts of Level III trafficking. Each count carries a minimum of 225 to 279 months and a $500,000 fine — the conviction could have carried a minimum 75 years in prison. However, Superior Court Judge Russell Duke Jr. consolidated all the counts and handed down one sentence of 225 to 279 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections prison system and a $500,000 fine.

In November 2011, Satterthwaite was charged with trafficking in prescription pain medication. During the May 13 Superior Court session, state prosecutors offered him a plea arrangement consisting of one count of Level I trafficking, which has a mandatory sentence of 50 to 74 months in prison and a fine of $50,000. Satterthwaite turned down the plea deal in open court, saying he wanted another lawyer and a jury trial.

During Monday’s trial, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Rice introduced as evidence video surveillance from May 25, 2011, in which a transaction between Satterthwaite and an informant showed the exchange of a pill bottle for cash.

According to testimony from state’s witnesses, the pill bottle contained 60, 5 mg Hydrocodone pills and 10, 10 mg Hydrocodone pills. Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid made from codeine and is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Court records show that Satterthwaite has multiple prior felony convictions ranging from multiple counts of selling cocaine in 1998 to assault on a female.