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Press Release

South Carolina Fentanyl Trafficker Is Sentenced To 13 Years

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
In a Separate Case, Charlotte Man Is Sentenced to Eight Years for Trafficking Fentanyl

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A South Carolina man was sentenced to 13 years in prison today for trafficking nearly a kilogram of fentanyl, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison term imposed, Lawrence Robinson, 32, of Wellford, South Carolina, was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release.

According to filed documents and court proceedings, on August 3, 2020, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) received a report that a backpack possibly containing narcotics was found at a short-term rental property in Charlotte. CMPD officers responding to the service call located the backpack which contained a substance later identified as 774.74 grams of fentanyl. The backpack also contained marijuana, ammunition, a digital scale, and other drug paraphernalia commonly used to package narcotics for distribution. Court records show that CMPD officers obtained video footage from the rental property which showed Robinson carrying various bags from his parked vehicle to the rental property, including the recovered backpack. While officers were conducting their investigation at the rental property, they observed Robinson driving by in his vehicle. The officers proceeded to conduct a traffic stop of the vehicle and Robinson was arrested at the scene. Officers executed a search warrant for Robinson’s vehicle and the rental unit, from which they recovered a loaded firearm with a round of ammunition in the chamber, $10,000 in cash, and a money counter. When investigators arrested Robinson at an apartment in Asheville on the federal arrest warrant stemming from this case, they also recovered an assault rifle and ammunition, narcotics, and more than $10,000 in cash.

On March 25, 2022, Robinson pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and marijuana.

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In a separate case, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. sentenced Lynnard Fleming, 30, of Charlotte, to eight years in prison and three years of supervised release for drug and firearms offenses. Court records in this case show that on April 11, 2020, CMPD officers located a stolen vehicle parked at a residence in Charlotte and observed Fleming walking away from the car’s driver’s side. Court records show that, when Fleming saw the officers, he attempted to flee the scene. When officers caught Fleming shortly thereafter, they found a mixture containing fentanyl and heroin in his pocket. Inside the stolen vehicle from which Fleming had run, the officers seized additional mixture containing fentanyl and heroin, digital scales, an assault rifle loaded with 21 rounds of ammunition, 20 additional rounds of ammunition, a stolen loaded semiautomatic pistol, and a suppressor/barrel extender.

On March 29, 2022, Fleming pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and heroin and carrying a firearm during and in relation to, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of, a drug trafficking crime.

“Fentanyl is a killer drug. A small dose can lead to an overdose death,” said U.S. Attorney King. “From street dealers, to crooked doctors, to bulk traffickers, anyone who distributes this potentially lethal substance is a threat to public health safety and can be subject to a federal investigation and prosecution. We must and will do all we can to save lives and protect our communities from this dangerous drug,” said U.S. Attorney King.

Both Robinson and Fleming are currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons.

In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney King commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and CMPD for their investigations into both cases and thanked the Asheville Police Department for their assistance with the investigation of Robinson.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor G. Stout of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted both cases.


Updated August 17, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses