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Press Release

Orange County Drug Dealer Sentenced To 28 Years In Federal Prison

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

GREENSBORO, N.C. - A Cedar Grove resident was sentenced on May 21, 2019, in federal court in Greensboro, announced United States Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin of the Middle District of North Carolina.

The Honorable William L. Osteen, Jr., sentenced Roderick Lamar SANFORD, 38, of Cedar Grove, North Carolina, to a 276 month term of imprisonment on charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin and a consecutive sentence of 60 months for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug related crime. In addition to a total of 336 months imprisonment, SANFORD was ordered to serve five years of supervised release after completing his sentence. SANFORD pleaded guilty in August 2018.

In March 2015, SANFORD was identified by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office as a distributor of heroin. After years of investigation, the evidence showed that SANFORD distributed personal-use quantities of drugs, in addition to supplying multiple mid-level drug traffickers. On March 2, 2018, a search warrant was executed at SANFORD’s residence which resulted in the seizure of four firearms, 42.61 grams of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of Fentanyl, drug paraphernalia, pills, cellular telephones, ammunition, Marihuana, and various documents. At sentencing, the Court described SANFORD’s behavior as “predatory” and held SANFORD responsible for distributing more than 8 kilograms of heroin over the period of the investigation, as well as other illicit drugs, and for using firearms to further his illegal drug trafficking activities.

“The defendant managed his drug organization by exploiting those closest to him through violence and by fueling their drug addictions. He used their drug dependence and acts of violence to force them deeper into his drug organization and even provided heroin to a girlfriend who was pregnant with his child,” said U.S. Attorney Martin. “The 28-year sentence imposed today reflects the severity of the defendant’s conduct and the generational harm that it caused. I commend the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for their diligence in getting Sanford his due so that the community can begin healing.”

“The Roderick Sanford heroin distribution organization was the first major case initiated by my Office under the Coordinated Opioid Overdose Response Effort, and we are very satisfied with the sentence imposed,” said Orange County Sheriff Charles S. Blackwood. “We will continue to identify, prioritize, and target the most significant violators within this community. My office is committed to partnering with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to make our community safer.”

The case was investigated by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.


Updated May 22, 2019