Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Former narcotics lieutenant imprisoned for forgery charged with drug trafficking

Joseph LeBlanc (right) made his first appearance in New Hanover County District Court by video. Photo by Christina Haley.
Joseph LeBlanc, right, made his first appearance in New Hanover County District Court by video. Photo by Christina Haley.

A former narcotics lieutenant with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office–who is currently serving a yearslong prison sentence for stealing evidence and forging court orders to obtain prescriptions–was served with additional felony charges on Thursday in New Hanover County District Court.

Joseph Antoine LeBlanc, 43, made his first appearance in district court on charges of trafficking marijuana and possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana on Thursday afternoon. LeBlanc waived a court-appointed attorney and said he would hire his own attorney.

The charges were filed on April 28 by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), according to Samantha Dooies, assistant to District Attorney Ben David. The offense allegedly occurred on Jan. 5. The drugs were reportedly found after he was imprisoned, Dooies said.

On Oct. 13, 2014, LeBlanc was sentenced to more than four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to 100 felony charges including, embezzlement, obstruction of justice, altering, destroying or stealing criminal evidence, obtaining property by false pretense, uttering forged papers, forgery, and obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge.

He was indicted on more than 100 criminal charges related to drug activity and forgery in December 2013. The indictments charged LeBlanc with stealing evidence–including pills–and forging court orders to obtain prescription drugs from a CVS pharmacy on South College Road. The indictments listed offense dates of May 2011, November 2012, December 2012, January 2013 and April 2013.


LeBlanc forged signatures of New Hanover County Superior Court judges and assistant district attorneys to obtain the prescriptions, according to District Attorney Ben David.

LeBlanc was hired with the sheriff’s office on March 11, 1996. He was fired from the sheriff’s office in June 2013 for reportedly violating the sheriff’s office standard operating procedures, rules and regulations in truthfulness, evidence procedures and drug policy, according to New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon.

At the time of his termination, LeBlanc was an assistant division commander of the vice and narcotics unit and earned an annual salary of $60,174. Several court cases could not be prosecuted because the State could not use LeBlanc as a witness, Dooies said.

LeBlanc is scheduled to appear in New Hanover County District Court on Sept. 3.

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