BEAUFORT — District Attorney Scott Thomas announced Friday a jury in Carteret County Superior Court this week found Jared Brady Willis, 40, of Morehead City, guilty of trafficking opioids into the Carteret County jail in Beaufort.
Senior resident Superior Court Judge Joshua Willey presided over the trial and sentenced Mr. Willis to a minimum sentence of 90 months and maximum of 120 months imprisonment, or about seven to 10 years, and imposed a $100,000 fine. According to a release from the district attorney’s office, Mr. Willis was found guilty of trafficking between 14 to 28 grams of an opioid.
At the trial, the prosecution presented evidence allegedly showing that on Sept. 16, 2019, while Mr. Willis was being held in pre-trial confinement at the jail for an unrelated charge, he received a bag containing 35 Hydrocodone pills during a visitation from a family member. The items were passed through a small opening in the area where the visitation occurred.
The release states the person who provided the pills to Mr. Willis during the visitation was also charged and is awaiting trial.
“We prosecute illegal drug activity where it occurs. In this case, the defendant was involved in receiving drugs at the jail,” Mr. Thomas said in the release. “Due to the diligence of Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck’s deputies and staff, this illegal activity was identified, the drugs were intercepted, and arrests were made. This 7 to 10 year prison sentence should send a message to other inmates that this activity will not be tolerated.”
The case was investigated by the County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted in court by Assistance District Attorney Ashley Eatmon. Ms. Eatmon was assisted by district attorney legal assistant Bonnie Keen, and the North Carolina State Crime Lab performed forensic analysis.