Convicted heroin dealer Lamar McDow was the third Brunswick County drug dealer in a week who was sentenced to serve years in prison. State prosecutors called the “harsh sentences” a reflection of their commitment to target drug dealers in the county.
The day before McDow pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to traffic heroin charge and received a prison sentence of up to 10 years, two other drug dealers – 28-year-old Corey Alexander Morgan and 46-year-old Nelson Tavares – were sentenced in Brunswick County Superior Court to up to 7 years in prison, according to District Attorney Jon David.
The district attorney said his office has worked closely with law enforcement to focus on dealers like the three sentenced in court last week. The sentences ordered in each case are a reflection of the cooperation between both law enforcement and prosecutors to address the “recent explosion of heroin and opiate use” in the county, David said.
Morgan pleaded guilty last Tuesday to possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin for his role in selling the highly addictive drug in a January 2015 case. Drug agents with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office conducted a controlled purchase of heroin from Morgan through their investigation. Morgan was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Richard Brown as a habitual felon, and ordered to serve 67-93 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections, according to David.
The judge also sentenced Tavares to serve between 67-93 months in prison after he entered a guilty plea Tuesday to possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver oxycodone, a prescription form of an opioid drug that’s similar to heroin, David said. Tavares, of Supply, was arrested on that charge in March 2015. He was also sentenced as a habitual felon.
While McDow, Morgan and Taveres were known drug dealers in the county, the three arrests and prosecutions were unrelated cases, according to Assistant District Attorney Chris Thomas, who prosecuted each of the three drug cases.
After McDow’s sentencing Thomas also noted the “tidal wave” of heroin abuse that has swept across southeastern North Carolina. Thomas said there are still three co-defendants left to prosecute in the drug trafficking case, in which the state alleges that the co-defendants aided McDow last year in supplying heroin into Brunswick County from New Jersey.
But Thomas added that several defendants charged with heroin possession never saw their day in court this week because they had died after overdosing on the drug that dealers, like the ones sentenced last week, have helped supply in Brunswick County. The addicts “didn’t make it to court because they couldn’t get the help they needed,” Thomas said.
“It’s not a war on drug users; it’s a war on drug dealers. And if someone gets caught selling that poison here in Brunswick County, there’s going to be a severe penalty,” Thomas said.