Morehead City arrests 5 individuals in connection to drug overdose death


MOREHEAD CITY — The Morehead City Police Department announced Friday it has made five arrests in connection to a drug overdose death that occurred in May.

According to the release, which was posted to the department’s Facebook page Friday morning, detectives responded to the overdose death in the parking lot of Off The Hook restaurant and bar, at 105 S. 7th St., on the evening of May 21.

The officers reportedly began an investigation in consultation with and assistance from prosecutors with District Attorney Scott Thomas’ Carteret County office.

The victim was Gary Wayne McKeel Jr., 21, of Morehead City, according to an investigation report for the incident obtained by the News-Times.

The investigation reportedly continued through the summer and culminated in the arrests of five individuals on multiple charges, including second degree murder, death by distribution of a controlled substance, involuntary manslaughter, sale of cocaine and other related drug charges.

The MCPD did not release the date of when the individuals were arrested or charged. The dates of some charged were recorded in booking logs.

The following individuals were arrested and charged in the case:

  • Jeremy Wilson, 31, of Morehead City, charged Sept. 30 with second degree murder, possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and several other drug charges. He is being held in the Carteret County jail in Beaufort under a $500,000 secured bond.
  • Preston Brungard, 23, of Morehead City, charged Sept. 21 with second degree murder and being held at Carteret County jail under a $500,000 secured bond.
  • Tyler Umile, 29, of Bogue, charged Sept. 22 with involuntary manslaughter. He is in the Carteret County jail under a $150,000 secured bond.
  • David Black, 29, of Atlantic Beach, charged with involuntary manslaughter. He was released from the Carteret County jail under a $50,000 secured bond.
  • Eden Sanders, 25, of Harkers Island, charged with conspiracy to sell cocaine, was released from Carteret County jail under a $10,000 secured bond.

This case is reportedly still under investigation by MCPD and the district attorney’s office and no further information will be made available at this time. 


Reporter's note: This article was updated at 11:27 a.m. Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, to include the name of the deceased. 

(5) comments


I know the mother of the young man who died. This is absolutely horrible. There is nothing bad enough they can do to these five individuals; except hand them over to the family. Save the court system, our wallets, and the funeral home a lot of unnecessary time and money.


Innocent until proven guilty means nothing to you? May as well just throw out the entire constitution while you are at it.

David Collins

Yes this was terrible but no one made him partake . Won’t repeat that mistake .


I guess it took 5 of them to hold the guy down and force it on him.


to enc34 - NOT in this case.

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