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Press Release

Lewiston Woodville Man Sentenced to More Than 10 Years for Heroin and Cocaine Base (Crack) Distribution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

NEW BERN – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., today announces that United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced DONNELL LEE, 42, of Lewiston-Woodville, NC. LEE was sentenced to 128 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release. 

On April 16, 2019, LEE pled guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin and a quantity of cocaine base (crack), as well as possession with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin and a quantity of cocaine base (crack).

The Bertie County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) in Windsor, North Carolina, began an investigation utilizing a confidential informant (CI) in order to conduct controlled purchases of heroin from LEE. The CI met with LEE at LEE’s residence on Oak Drive in Lewiston-Woodville, North Carolina three times.

On December 14, 2016, the BCSO travelled to LEE’S residence to execute a search warrant. While surveilling the residence, investigators observed LEE burying glass mason jars on the curtilage of his property. Investigators subsequently searched the area where LEE was observed burying the jars and discovered glass mason jars containing quantities of cocaine base (crack), heroin, marijuana, and rice as a moisture absorber. Inside the residence, investigators recovered $2,128.00 in U.S. currency, scales, plastic baggies, other drug paraphernalia, and additional quantities of heroin, cocaine base, and marijuana.  The total amount of controlled substances recovered were 855 bindles of heroin (25.65 grams of heroin), 146 baggies of cocaine base (59.86 grams of cocaine base), and 144.8 grams of marijuana.

On February 22, 2018, LEE’S vehicle was stopped at a traffic checkpoint conducted by the BCSO.  As LEE drove towards the checkpoint, investigators observed LEE placing items into the backseat of his vehicle.  LEE was asked to exit the vehicle and subsequently attempted to flee on foot; however, LEE was quickly apprehended.  A search of LEE revealed $1,745 in U.S. currency.  Officers searched LEE’s vehicle and discovered an additional quantity of heroin, for a total of 760 bindles of heroin (22.8 grams of heroin), as well as 10.55 grams of cocaine, 1 gram of marijuana, digital scales, and plastic baggies.

Based upon the preceding, from October 19, 2016, through February 22, 2018, LEE is accountable for 49.35 grams of heroin, 10.55 grams of cocaine, 59.86 grams of cocaine base, and 990.94 grams of marijuana.

This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Office’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.  For additional information about this initiative, click here

The Bertie County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case.  Assistant United States Attorney Scott A. Lemmon prosecuted this case for the government.

Updated December 16, 2019

Drug Trafficking