BEAUFORT — District Attorney Scott Thomas announced in a release Tuesday that two defendants entered guilty pleas just prior to their cases being called for trial before a jury in Carteret Superior Court this week.
Superior Court Judge John Nobles presided in court and the cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Ashley Eatmon.
Brandon Hobbs, 39, of Newport, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine precursor chemical during the Carteret County Superior Court trial term of court just prior to jury selection.
According to the release, a Morehead City Police Officer recently observed Mr. Hobbs leaving a gas station on his 1989 Honda motorcycle. The officer recognized Mr. Hobbs as having two outstanding warrants for arrest and performed a traffic stop.
In addition to the outstanding warrants, Mr. Hobbs had fictitious tags and a revoked driver’s license. After placing him under arrest, the officer performed a search of Mr. Hobbs’ person and motorcycle. The officer located a digital scale in his pants pocket and five packages of lithium batteries on his motorcycle.
Lithium is considered a methamphetamine precursor, as it is used in crude, volatile homemade “labs” to make the drug. Mr. Hobbs was also found to be in possession of approximately 10.9 grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
Mr. Hobbs was sentenced as a habitual felon, as his criminal record includes at least three prior felony convictions and stretches back more than ten years. Judge Nobles sentenced Mr. Hobbs to a prison sentence of 127 to 165 months, approximately 10 to 14 years.
Timothy Edward Doolittle, 39, of Swansboro, pleaded guilty to felony possession of stolen goods. Mr. Doolittle, already serving a minimum 16 ¾ year sentence for trafficking methamphetamine, was sentenced to an additional 12-24 months in the Division of Adult Corrections. He was found to be in possession of property stolen from a breaking and entering in Atlantic Beach.