Judge sentences 3 on drug distribution offenses in Carteret County

PATTERSON, BROWN, LESTER

BEAUFORT — Three individuals were recently convicted in Carteret County Superior Court of controlled substance distribution offenses and have been sentenced to prison.

According to a Monday release from District Attorney Scott Thomas’ office, David Allen Patterson, 40, of Beaufort, Jorgie Anna Brown, 50, of Newport, and Tonya Lee Lester, 48, of Stacy, were each convicted on drug charges and sentenced by Superior Court Judge R. Kent Harrell.

“Our office continues to work closely with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office, Morehead City Police Department, and other agencies to investigate and prosecute drug dealers in Carteret County,” Mr. Thomas said in the release. “Sheriff Asa Buck and I are committed to keeping constant pressure on drug dealers and sending them to prison to remove them from our communities.”

According to the release, Mr. Patterson was convicted after a three-day jury trial of two counts of possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine, two counts of sale of cocaine and two counts of trafficking cocaine. He was ordered to serve a maximum sentence of 12 years and nine months in prison and pay a $50,000 fine.

During the course of an investigation into drug trafficking activities by the CCSO, Mr. Patterson reportedly sold powder cocaine to an informant acting under the supervision of detectives from the narcotics unit on three separate occasions. He was charged as a habitual felon based on previous felony convictions in the county, including prior convictions for selling and possessing drugs.

Ms. Brown pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in methamphetamine and was sentenced to a maximum sentence of seven years and nine months in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. After receiving information she would be driving a certain vehicle through the Morehead City area with a large amount of narcotics, officers with the MCPD located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. During the stop, officers reportedly located a trafficking amount of methamphetamine.

Ms. Lester pleaded guilty to two counts of selling/delivering a schedule II controlled substance. She received a maximum sentence of three years and six months in prison. She was charged after detectives with the CCSO utilized a confidential informant to conduct a series of controlled purchases during which Ms. Lester reportedly sold the confidential informant prescription medication.

“I very much appreciate the hard work by the members of our law enforcement agencies and District Attorney Thomas’ office working together to build cases for successful prosecution of drug offenders in our area,” Sheriff Buck said in the release. “These drug dealers must cease their criminal activity or they must be sentenced to prison and removed from our community.”

The cases were prosecuted in court by assistant district attorney David Spence, with assistance from district attorney legal assistant Michelle Gillikin. The North Carolina State Crime Lab performed laboratory analysis on the suspected narcotics.

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