North Carolina woman sentenced to more than six years in prison for drug, money laundering for providing contraband to inmates

Published 12:29 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2023

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A Lumberton woman was sentenced February 23, 2023 to 75 months in prison for drug and money laundering crimes for providing contraband to inmates in North Carolina prisons, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Leann Little, 37, previously pleaded guilty to the charges.

In December of 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) initiated an investigation involving the distribution of illicit contraband in prisons throughout North Carolina. “The evidence revealed that Little, a former correctional officer and postal contractor, conspired with inmates to send them 45-MDMB-BINACA, a synthetic cannabinoid that is smoked for psychoactive effects,” stated the release. “The inmates would place the orders over the phone and use CashApp to pay Little. Little would obtain greeting cards or paper, spray them with liquid 45-MDMB-BINACA and mail them to inmates in state corrections facilities. The cards were then cut into dosage units and consumed or used for currency.”

Little pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of 4F-MDMB-BINACA, distributing a quantity of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of 4F-MDMB-BINACA and money laundering conspiracy.

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Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the United States Postal Inspection Service Office of Inspector General investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad Rhoades prosecuted the case.