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Press Release

Bulk Trafficker Of Heroin And Crystal Methamphetamine Is Sentenced To 20 Years

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
The Defendant Sold Heroin that Resulted in an Overdose Death

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Otequise Lenard Miller, 34, of Concord, N.C. was sentenced today to 240 months in prison and five years of supervised release on 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; Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Charlotte; Chief Gary J. Gacek of the Concord Police Department; and Interim Chief Terry Spry of the Kannapolis Police Department join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, from 2015 until his arrest on August 22, 2018, Miller was part of a drug conspiracy that trafficked bulk crystal methamphetamine and heroin into Mecklenburg County.  During the relevant time period, Miller trafficked approximately seven to nine kilograms of heroin, and 14 to 18 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.  In addition to drug trafficking, Miller concealed and laundered the drug proceeds.  

Court records show that, in December 2017, Miller sold heroin to a victim identified in court documents as “W.M.,” which resulted in the victim’s overdose death.  As described further in court documents, Miller continued to sell narcotics even after he became aware of the victim’s death.  Miller is a repeat offender, and was previously convicted of drug trafficking charges.

Miller is currently in custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.  All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

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. 

In June 2019, U.S. Attorney Murray announced the formation of the Western District’s Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Enforcement (H.O.P.E.) Task Force.  This multi-agency team of experienced federal and state investigators located in the Western District of North Carolina work with federal prosecutors to identify abusive practices by participants in the opioid pharmaceutical supply chain, and to prosecute drug trafficking networks that distribute lethal heroin and opioids into our communities. 

The Task Force focuses on coordinating investigations, information sharing, identifying trends throughout the region, investigating whistleblower complaints, and the creation of cross-agency investigative teams so each agency task force member can bring its area of expertise on investigations.  

The Task Force builds upon existing partnerships between the agencies, and its work reflects a heightened effort to reduce heroin and opioid abuse, to increase prevention through outreach efforts, and to educate the public about the dangers of counterfeit drugs, heroin abuse and opioid addiction.

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 January 31, 2020

Drug Trafficking