North Carolina man sentenced to 15 years in prison for trafficking fentanyl, heroin

Published 12:45 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2022

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A Havelock man was sentenced to 180 months in prison for trafficking fentanyl and heroin from June 2017 through July 10, 2019, according to an August 25, 2022 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina. Michael Lamar Hill pleaded guilty to the charges on March 29, 2021.

According to Chief Chris Morning of the Havelock Police Department, this sentence represents “one small victory for the citizens of Havelock and surrounding counties.  The war on drugs may never be won, but with strong partnerships between local, state and federal agencies, we can make a difference in our community, one conviction at a time.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Hill, who was convicted of federal drug trafficking and a gun crime in 2012, was released from federal prison in April 2017 to begin a five-year term of supervised release.

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“Once back in the community, Hill quickly began trafficking in fentanyl and heroin and also opened a business named Havelock Super Tire Store. Hill used drug proceeds as the seed capital to fund the opening of his business,” stated the release. “Hill also used his supply of fentanyl as a means of securing an inventory of new tires. Specifically, Hill made it known that he would pay one gram of fentanyl for each pair of new tires, which his drug customers would then steal from local businesses. Hill also used Havelock Super Tire Store to store and distribute fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine. Hill assigned a store employee to assist in the drug distribution.”

According to the release, in 2018 and 2019, Havelock Police Department conducted numerous controlled purchases of fentanyl from Hill, both directly and through his employee. “On July 10, 2019, Havelock Police Department and the DEA conducted a search of Havelock Super Tire Store and recovered 161 grams of fentanyl and 267 grams of cocaine,” stated the release. “A search of Hill’s car resulted in the seizure of $10,000 in cash, a Rolex watch, and the vehicle titles having an aggregate worth in excess of $85,000.”

U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced Hill to 144 months on the new criminal conduct and 36 months of imprisonment for the violation of supervised release, to be served consecutive to each other, for a total sentence of 180 months.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by Boyle. The Havelock Police Department, Carteret County Sheriff’s Department, the DEA Wilmington Resident Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dennis M. Duffy and Lucy Brown prosecuted.