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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Man Sentenced to Prison for Possession of Pseudoephedrine with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today in federal court, United States District Judge James C. Dever, III sentenced ZACKERY B. LANEY, 31, formerly of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to 60 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

On July 9, 2018, LANEY pled guilty to Possession of Pseudoephedrine with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine.

On November 27, 2017, the Fort Bragg Criminal Investigation Command Office received a report from Laney’s wife advising that her husband, ZACKERY B. LANEY, an active duty sergeant in the United States Army stationed at Fort Bragg, threatened to kill members of his chain of command.  Mrs. Laney reported an AR-15 rifle was missing from their residence and she expressed fear that LANEY was going to commit an act of violence.  She further advised LANEY was a manufacturer and user of drugs.  On the same day, a United States Army Captain contacted LANEY and requested that LANEY return to his unit.  LANEY complied, but before appearing before his commanding officer LANEY fled the building, entered his vehicle, and attempted to put the key in the ignition.  LANEY was asked to return to the building and he complied.  Based on Mrs. Laney's report, LANEY'S vehicle was searched and an AR-15 rifle, containing a loaded magazine with one round in the chamber, was located in the back seat of his vehicle.  Additionally, a partially loaded magazine was found in the driver's door.  Also located in the back seat of the vehicle was a bag containing a funnel, a plastic tube with a bottle cap attached containing a white powdery substance, electrical tape, and a box of instant cold packs containing ammonium nitrate.  Further search of the vehicle revealed items consistent with the production of methamphetamine.

As part of the investigation, agents conducted a search of the pseudoephedrine purchase records maintained by the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) for LANEY.  The NPLEx database revealed LANEY used his military identification card to make pseudoephedrine purchases from November 30, 2016, to November 26, 2017. It also appeared LANEY used two identification numbers associated with his military identification card to circumvent the legal sales limit.  The NPLEx search revealed that between November 30, 2016, and November 26, 2017, LANEY purchased products containing pseudoephedrine on 95 occasions, totaling 219.84 grams of pseudoephedrine from at least 14 different pharmacies in Cumberland County.  Based on the purchase of pseudoephedrine in this case, LANEY was involved in the manufacturing of methamphetamine from November 30, 2016, to November 27,   2017.

This case was brought using the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  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.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Fort Bragg Military Police, United States Army Criminal Investigation Command, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott A. Lemmon.

Drug Trafficking
Updated May 15, 2019