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Justice News

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

Friday, November 30, 2018

Bulk Trafficker Of Heroin And Crystal Methamphetamine Pleads Guilty To Drug Conspiracy And Money Laundering Charges

The Defendant Sold Heroin that Resulted in an Overdose Death


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Otequise Lenard Miller, 33, of Concord, N.C. appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer today, and pleaded guilty to drug trafficking conspiracy resulting in an overdose death and money laundering charges, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. 

Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office; Christopher H. Healy, Acting Deputy Special Agent in Charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Charlotte; Chief Gary J. Gacek of the Concord Police Department; and Chief J.W. Chavis of the Kannapolis Police Department join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and today’s plea hearing, from 2015 until his arrest on August 22, 2018, Miller was part of a drug conspiracy that trafficked bulk crystal methamphetamine and heroin in Mecklenburg County and elsewhere.  During the relevant time period, Miller trafficked approximately 7-9 kilograms of heroin, and 14-18 kilograms of actual crystal methamphetamine.  In addition to drug trafficking, Miller concealed and laundered the drug proceeds.  As Miller admitted in court today, in December 2017, he sold heroin to a victim identified in court documents as “W.M.,” which resulted in the victim’s overdose death.  Court documents show that Miller is a repeat offender, and was previously convicted of drug trafficking charges.

Miller is currently in federal custody.  The drug trafficking conspiracy charge resulting in death carries a mandatory sentence of 20 years, up to a maximum of life in prison.  The money laundering charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  A sentencing date has not been set.

This case is part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office initiative to combat the opioid abuse epidemic in the Western District of North Carolina through prosecution, enforcement and prevention. 

This prosecution is also part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), targeting the importation of narcotics from Mexico into Western North Carolina. 

OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

DEA, HSI, the Concord Police Department, and the Kannapolis Police Department investigated the case. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sanjeev Bhasker, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated November 30, 2018