Monday, March 4, 2024

Wilmington man and habitual felon found guilty of selling drugs near daycare

Clarence Dailey, 51, is an admitted habitual felon. (Courtesy)

WILMINGTON — A Wilmington man was found guilty of selling drugs near a childcare center, following a three-day trial in the New Hanover County Superior Court.

Clarence Dailey, 51, was found guilty of two counts of selling cocaine within 1,000 feet of a childcare center, two counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, and two counts of knowingly maintaining a dwelling for the keeping and selling of controlled substances.

Judge Joshua Wiley of Craven County sentenced Dailey to 150 months minimum and 192 months maximum in the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction.

On the afternoons of Feb. 25 and 27 in 2019, the defendant sold crack cocaine at his house on South 12th Street to a confidential informant working for the Wilmington Police Department. His home is located within a few hundred feet of Mary Washington Howe Pre-Kindergarten Center, located at 1020 Meares St.

“One of the most important things we must do in our justice system is to protect the children of this community, so shutting down a known drug house that was operating in the vicinity to one of our county’s outstanding public preschools is a big step in the right direction,” Assistant District Attorney Brad Matthews said in a press release.

Matthews and Assistant District Attorney Ashton Herring represented the state in the trial.

In an interview with law enforcement, Dailey admitted to obtaining a steady supply of 12 to 14 grams of crack cocaine on a weekly basis to sell, knowing the proximity of his home to the daycare.

Dailey, represented in the case by assistant public defender Max Ashworth, admitted at the conclusion of the trial to obtaining habitual felon status through multiple prior drug convictions, an obtaining property by false pretenses conviction, and a prior conviction for possessing a firearm by a convicted felon.

“One of our office’s top priorities is to aggressively prosecute career offenders, and thanks to the tremendous efforts of both prosecutors and legal assistants in
our office as well as multiple law enforcement officers with WPD, we were able to successfully prosecute this career offender at trial,” District Attorney Ben David said in the release.

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