CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Shannon Demond Lawrence, 45, of Matthews, N.C., has been sentenced to 176 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for cocaine distribution and illegal gun possession, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. At today’s hearing, the Court enhanced Lawrence’s sentence due to his classification as a Career Offender, stemming from his multiple prior criminal convictions, to include drug distribution and firearms offenses.
U.S. Attorney King is joined in making today’s announcement by Bennie Mims, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).
According to filed court documents and court proceedings, law enforcement initiated a federal investigation into Lawrence for suspected drug trafficking. Court documents show that, on multiple occasions between October and November 2021, Lawrence sold cocaine and fentanyl to an undercover detective. During two drug transactions, the undercover detective observed that Lawrence possessed firearms, including an AK-47 assault rifle. Court records show that, in addition to selling narcotics, Lawrence sold the undercover detective two firearms, one of which was loaded.
On August 23, 2022, Lawrence pleaded guilty to distributing cocaine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
U.S. Attorney King thanked the ATF and CMPD for their investigation of the case.
The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hess of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.