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North Carolina man sentenced to over 19 years in federal prison on drug charges

Anthony Lemmonds, 53, of Onslow County, was sentenced March 15 to 235 months imprisonment for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute five hundred (500) grams or more of methamphetamine; distribution of fifty (50) grams or more of methamphetamine; and possession with the intent to distribute fifty (50) grams or more of methamphetamine, according to a press release from the Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Lemmons pled guilty to the charges June 9, 2020.

According to court documents, on March 29, 2019, the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) obtained information that Lemmonds was traveling to South Carolina to purchase crystal methamphetamine. The DCSO, operating in conjunction with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), conducted a controlled purchase with Lemmonds utilizing a confidential informant.

On March 30, 2019, utilizing the same confidential informant as the previous day, another controlled purchase was conducted, stated the release. The confidential informant obtained 86 grams of crystal methamphetamine and during that controlled purchase, Lemmonds informed the confidential informant that he brought back a pound of crystal methamphetamine the week prior.

“On April 4, 2019, the confidential informant met with Lemmonds again, this time to obtain three ounces of methamphetamine. Lemmonds advised the confidential informant that he would have to travel to South Carolina again to obtain the methamphetamine. On the return trip from South Carolina on April 5, 2019, Lemmonds was surveilled by law enforcement and a traffic stop was conducted where officers witnessed Lemmonds throwing an item out of the car,” stated the release. “Law enforcement recovered the sealed bag containing crystal methamphetamine in the area where Lemmonds threw the items out of the car. Additionally, law enforcement searched his car and found an additional 138 grams of methamphetamine, two digital scales and a ledger. Lemmonds confirmed that the ledger contained records detailing prior drug transactions.  Between August 2018 and April 5, 2019, Lemmonds is attributed with trafficking more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine.”

Lemmonds’s prior criminal history includes possession of cocaine (2004); possession of methamphetamine (2005); possession of a firearm by felon and possession of methamphetamine (2017).  In 2009, he had a federal conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine; he received a 91 month sentence, according to the release.

The investigation was part of OCDETF Operation. An Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets. This OCDETF focuses on a multi-state drug trafficking organization and gang activity that has been responsible for the distribution of large quantities of extremely pure methamphetamine throughout the United States, according to the release.

G. Norman Acker III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after the sentencing before U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office and the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office took part in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted.

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