A trial in federal court last week stemming from the overdose of a 23-year-old Raleigh man exposed the inner workings of a drug-dealing duo and their college-student clients.
The weekend of March 4, 2023, was a big one in the Triangle.
Big for thousands of students and alums because longtime basketball rivals Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were facing off. Big for crowded restaurants and bars that had the Saturday night game in UNC’s Dean Dome on their wide-screen TVs.
And big for Cye Frasier and his girlfriend, Carlisa Allen, who expected to bring in $10,000 in drug sales that weekend from their primary customer base: college students.
That weekend was the first time Josh Zinner, a former UNC-Wilmington student from Raleigh, purchased directly from Frasier and Allen, according to testimony last week in federal court. His roommate, a former UNC-Chapel Hill student and Phi Gamma Delta member, referred him to Frasier.
SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — A father and son were arrested and charged with trafficking opioids after a traffic stop Thursday.
Lee County sheriff’s deputies made the traffic stop on Greenwood Road which is about 8 miles south of Sanford as part of an active drug investigation, the sheriff’s office said.
Deputies found about 2.2 pounds of fentanyl in the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office.
Robert Bernard Fox Sr., 54, and his son, Robert Bernard Fox II, 23, were arrested and both charged with the following:
Trafficking Opioid by Transport,
Trafficking Opioid by Possession,
Possess with Intent to Sell and Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance,
Maintaining a Vehicle for the Sale of Narcotics, and
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
The pair were brought before a Lee County Magistrate and were issued $250,000 secured bonds.
As a result of this traffic stop, narcotics agents, assisted by the Sanford Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, executed a search warrant in the 800 block of McKenzie Park Drive.
During the search warrant, agents found Shondell Rasheed Bethea, 25, inside the residence.
Bethea was wanted for failing to appear in court on charges of possessing with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, larceny of a motor vehicle, and two counts of breaking and entering.
Bethea was found to be in possession of two firearms, one of which was entered stolen by the Sanford Police Department, the sheriff’s office said.
The last bathroom stall on the left. An afternoon math class. The house across the street. This weekend’s party.
Fentanyl is easy for teens to get — and, these days, it’s even harder to escape.
After losing his best friend to the very drugs the two of them would use together, one Charlotte teen shared his winding journey from an innocent swig of liquor to a dependency on $7 pills, posing as Percocets, that circulated through his school.
“I didn’t know who I was,” said 17-year-old Dylan Krebs, remembering the height of his addiction. “I had completely forgotten everything about me.”
Not only could he not help himself then, he says, but his parents and teachers seemed to have no idea. He says students sold illegal painkillers in classrooms and recalls only once a teacher at school warning teens of the dangers of drugs.
“Everything is laced,” officials have long warned, and one fentanyl pill — about 2 milligrams — with the potent opioid is enough to kill a person.
The fentanyl crisis has taken the lives of more than 13,000 North Carolinians in recent years and it’s currently killing eight North Carolinians a day. The rise in overdose deaths is driven by illegally manufactured fentanyl.
The group Fentanyl Victims Network of North Carolina recently joined NC Newsline for an extended conversation, in which founder Barb Walsh shared her family’s story, described the organization she leads, and shared some of the policy changes the group is seeking from state leaders.
Editor’s note: This is a rebroadcast of an interview NC Newsline originally aired August 20, 2023.
Allen Michael “Mikey” Boyd had a “heart of gold” and loved interacting with people with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities. He was a “beautiful soul with a free spirit” who loved his younger brothers, spending time with friends and skateboarding, his mother, Allena Hale, shares with groups of people she meets at events that raise awareness about the dangers of illicit fentanyl use.
Hale, of Pamlico Beach, lost Boyd to fentanyl poisoning on March 31, 2022 when he was just 22 years old.
Through her work, she hopes to educate people and comfort grieving families who have similar stories of young family members that were kind, smart and funny but met untimely deaths.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Pharmaceutical-grade fentanyl is used by medical professionals to treat patients with severe pain, and is used to treat patients with chronic pain who are “physically more tolerant to other opioids.”
When fentanyl is produced illegally, it is dropped on blotter paper, smoked, snorted/sniffed or made into pills that look similar to other opioids, per the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers held a town hall with several senior staffers Monday night to address concerns about the detention center, crime in the county and staffing concerns in the department.
Fentanyl took center stage, though.
“That was the day our whole world came crashing down … Since then, it’s been my mission to bring attention and awareness to fentanyl,” said Debbie Peeden, a grandmother who lost her granddaughter to fentanyl poisoning two years ago.
The family of a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill freshman student who died after overdosing on fentanyl-laced cocaine on the campus of Duke University is seeking some justice for their daughter.
So far, no one has been charged in the death of Elizabeth Grace Burton, or Gracie as her family called her. She was 19 years old.
Court documents reveal Burton became “unsteady” and “wobbly on her feet” about an hour after meeting with a suspected drug dealer on March 9 outside a Duke student’s dorm. The former Duke student is Patrick Rowland, who pleaded guilty to a drug distribution charge.
An autopsy revealed Burton died two days after investigators said she met up with Rowland after a party and contacted him to buy cocaine.
CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Since 2013, over 15,000 North Carolinians have died from fentanyl poisoning, with 886 of those deaths occurring in the Cape Fear.
To spread awareness and help families heal, the Fentanyl Victims Network of North Carolina held its 3rd Family Summit of 2023 in Carolina Beach, with the previous 2 having been held in Raleigh and Boone.
More than a dozen families came out for the summit to learn more about what they can do to continue fighting for their loved ones to receive justice.
Additionally, several parents and siblings shared their stories of what happened to their loved ones.
The network’s executive director Barb Walsh lost her daughter Sophia to fentanyl poisoning after she unintentionally drank a contaminated bottle of water.
Walsh said being able to learn more about fentanyl helped her and will also help the families of it’s victims.
“I went down into a black hole like all these families do and it takes a while and some people never come back out,” Walsh said. “But when I did, I knew that I needed to know more about fentanyl, I needed to learn about the laws and many of these families helped get this law passed.”
Walsh was glad to see so many families come to the summit as Sophia’s death is what drove her to join the Fentanyl Victims Network.
“This is very healing, it’s healing for me to be able to help other families.”
Kami Perez lost her daughter after she took a xanax pill given to her that had more than 13 milligrams of fentanyl in it.
While this was Perez’ first summit, she hopes to be able to help other families when they come to future summits.
“I want to be able to be that voice for her and to others who may also be a victim as well, because they don’t have any voices, they can’t have that voice anymore,” Perez said. “So I’m standing in the gap for them to be that advocate, to be able to bring more attention to, I feel like, is an epidemic.”
North Carolina recently passed Senate Bill 189, which strengthens penalties for individuals found guilty of distributing controlled substances which result in a fatal overdose. Two individuals in the Cape Fear have been charged with death by distribution since the bill was passed.