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Press Release

Maxton Man Sentenced for Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

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

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced BENDA RAY LOCKLEAR, 46, of Maxton, North Carolina to 84 months imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release.

LOCKLEAR was named in a Criminal Information filed on July 25, 2019 charging him with possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine.  On August 26, 2019, LOCKLEAR pled guilty to the charge.    

In March 2018, investigators with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office in Lumberton, North Carolina, began investigating the suspected drug trafficking activities of a defendant in Robeson County.  The investigation established that individual was working with LOCKLEAR to bring approximately 16 kilograms of cocaine to Robeson County.  

Investigators determined, on March 21, 2018, that several of the kilograms of cocaine had been sold, and that LOCKLEAR was in possession of several thousand dollars of drug sale proceeds at his residence.  Additionally, it was determined that LOCKLEAR still possessed eight of the kilograms of cocaine.

On March 22, 2018, investigators conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle being driven by LOCKLEAR, and then searched his residence.  Agents recovered a vehicle battery that had been hollowed out, as well as heat-sealed bags. Investigators then searched another residence, and found $193,960.  Finally, a search of a residence in Maxton, North Carolina resulted in the seizure of eight kilograms of cocaine.

Subsequently, LOCKLEAR admitted to investigators that on March 20, 2018, he had received four hollowed out batteries containing 16 a total of kilograms of cocaine.

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 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Scott Lemmon represented the government. 


Updated November 26, 2019

Drug Trafficking