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Press Release

Wilmington Woman Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison for Distributing Heroin that Resulted in Death

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, Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt sentenced PORSCHE RENEE DILLARD, 31 from Wilmington, North Carolina, to 96 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. 

On May 23, 2018, DILLARD pled guilty to a one-count Criminal Information which charged her with distribution of a quantity of heroin and fentanyl, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). As part of her plea agreement, DILLARD stipulated and agreed that the use of the heroin and fentanyl she distributed on April 24, 2016 resulted in the death of the user.

The investigation revealed that on April 24, 2016, officers with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office responded to an overdose at a residence in Castle Hayne, NC.  Upon arrival at the scene, officers found a deceased victim with a syringe in her arm, several used bags of heroin/fentanyl stamped with the words “Old School”, as well as the victim’s cellular phone.  A search of the victim’s phone revealed multiple text messages between the victim and “Porcha” who was later identified as DILLARD.

On June 9, 2016, DILLARD was located and arrested on  unrelated state drug charges.  DILLARD gave an interview to law enforcement officers during which she admitted to selling heroin to the victim in the specific stamped bags located at the victim’s residence.

 =Mr. Higdon commented:  “In 2017, an average of three North Carolina residents died each day from overdoses of heroin and fentanyl. This defendant’s actions directly contributed to the tragic and unnecessary deaths that are occurring across our state.

With the imposition of an 8 year sentence, the people of New Hanover County can begin to recover from the effects of this crime and we are very pleased that the United States Department of Justice could play a role in achieving that result.”

This case was prosecuted federally as part of the United States Department of Justice’s Opioid Initiative and the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. 

Implemented in March 2018, the Take Back North Carolina Initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with local, state and federal 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.  The initiative targets those organizations and individuals who are responsible for increasing violent crime rates and drug trafficking – quickly routing the cases to federal court when prosecution in that venue would deliver the most significant impact. 

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Wilmington FBI Coastal Carolina Criminal Enterprise Task Force consisting of the FBI, New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, Wilmington Police Department, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence J. Cameron prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

Updated August 30, 2018

Drug Trafficking