North Carolina woman sentenced to 25 years in prison for fentanyl, firearms charges

Published 11:32 am Wednesday, December 28, 2022

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A Robeson County woman was sentenced Wednesday, December 21, 2022 to 300 months in prison for conspiring to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and for possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Jania Delicia Leggett, 28, pleaded guilty to the charges on April 7, 2022.

“This year alone, the DEA reports that it has seized enough deadly doses of fentanyl to kill every American,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley. “This defendant was not only trafficking a deadly drug but doing so with children and assault weapons in close proximity – even allowing a small child to handle fentanyl.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Leggett ran a house used to distribute fentanyl in Lumberton from April through September of 2020.

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“Witnesses reported to law enforcement that they had also seen AR-15 style rifles and small children in the house that Leggett used as a hub for her fentanyl sales,” stated the release. “The investigation revealed that Leggett was responsible for distributing over 3.5 kilograms of fentanyl during that six-month period.”

According to the release, investigators learned in October 2020 that Leggett and her significant other Clarence Graham had moved their drug sales to a Lumberton-area hotel.

“Lumberton Police Department detectives performed a traffic stop on Leggett and Graham as they left the hotel on October 13, 2020. When detectives approached Leggett and Graham’s vehicle, they observed that Leggett had a .40 caliber handgun in her lap and that there was a small child in the backseat holding a bag of fentanyl,” stated the release. “Detectives then searched the vehicle and a storage unit in Graham’s name and found a total of 334.98 grams of fentanyl, $46,647 in cash, an additional handgun in Leggett’s purse, and a variety of items used to package drugs for sale.”

Easley made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Lumberton Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Caroline Webb prosecuted.