They Were Go-To Dealers for College Students. Now They’re Headed to Prison.

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.

Continue reading “They Were Go-To Dealers for College Students. Now They’re Headed to Prison.”

More than two dozen people charged in North Carolina drug trafficking conspiracy, officials say

A federal indictment was unsealed yesterday charging 25 defendants in a narcotics trafficking conspiracy, according to Middle District of North Carolina United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston.

The indictment, which followed a two-year investigation, charges the individuals involved with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine hydrochloride in multiple counties in North Carolina, including Guilford, Randolph, Durham, and Montgomery counties.

If convicted, individual defendants face penalties ranging from up to 20 years, five years to 40 years, or 10 years to life, for narcotics conspiracy, distribution and possession with intent to distribute – depending on the drug amounts involved in the offenses.

You can read the article and watch the video on the WXII 12 News website.

Father, son charged after 2-plus pounds of fentanyl found during Lee County traffic stop

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.

Continue reading “Father, son charged after 2-plus pounds of fentanyl found during Lee County traffic stop”

After Raleigh man’s overdose, dealer convicted of selling fentanyl-laced drugs

A Durham woman charged with selling drugs containing fentanyl that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old Raleigh man was convicted in federal court Friday.

Carlisa Allen, 46, was convicted on multiple cocaine-related drug charges, including conspiring to distribute a substance containing fentanyl resulting in death and possessing a firearm to further a drug trafficking crime, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina said in a news release.

Allen’s drug trafficking conspiracy resulted in the cocaine and fentanyl overdose death of Joshua Skip Zinner on March 10, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

She was convicted after a four-day trial and could face 25 years to life in prison when sentenced on Feb. 13 next year.

Continue reading “After Raleigh man’s overdose, dealer convicted of selling fentanyl-laced drugs”

Why drug distribution investigations can take months, years before charges are filed

Despite the state cracking down on people who deal deadly drugs, holding those responsible remains difficult.

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Fentanyl claims the lives of about 12 North Carolinians every day.

Death by distribution laws hold the dealers accountable if users die, but it’s not as simple as tracking the dealer down.

New Hanover and Pender County district attorney Ben David says most cases involving death by distribution don’t go to trial, often because the nature of the crime doesn’t leave much evidence.

“The best victim can’t tell you what happened. And so, we have to try these like any homicide, relying on things like digital footprints and witness interviews,” David said.

David says because they need evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, investigations can take months, sometimes even more than a year, before charges are filed. It’s worth it to the families who have lost someone.

“Everyone’s someone’s baby. And we know that this epidemic is visiting houses across our district. And we are going to go wherever we can to make sure that justice is being done,” he said.

Part of that justice is stiffer penalties, such as murder charges for the dealer if the user dies.

David isn’t buying it when someone says they didn’t know the drugs were laced.

“No one can claim, at this point, that they’re unaware that fentanyl is deadly. And if they are mixing that into drugs or are selling it in a pure form to begin with, they should not be surprised when their best customers are dying,” David said. “They should not be surprised when we try to put them into prison for murder and nothing less.”

David wants people to know that North Carolinians are protected under immunity to call 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency, even if it involves illegal drugs. It can save lives.

Copyright 2023 WECT. All rights reserved.

Read the full article and watch the video on the WECT News 6 website.

New Hanover County man charged with death by distribution following Rocky Point fentanyl death

ROCKY POINT, N.C. (WECT) – The Pender County Sheriff’s Office released details on Thursday, Oct. 12, concerning the arrest of a New Hanover County man following an investigation into the death of 32-year-old Justin Barnes.

“On September 19, 2022, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a death at an address in Rocky Point. Law Enforcement and EMS responded to the address and located 32-year-old Justin Barnes deceased. An autopsy was conducted which showed his death was the result of Fentanyl Toxicity,” the sheriff’s office release states.

According to the announcement, 30-year-old Grayson Kyle Lancaster was arrested on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

“The investigation showed Grayson Kyle Lancaster, a 30-year-old resident of New Hanover County, sold the fentanyl-laced narcotics to Mr. Barnes the day of his death,” the release explains. “Mr. Lancaster has been charged with felony Death by Distribution.”

As of Thursday morning, Lancaster’s bond is set at $1 million.

“Agencies to include New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Carolina Beach Police Department along with the Wilmington Police Department assisted in this investigation. During these types of investigations, the sheriff’s office works closely with the District Attorney’s Office throughout the investigation.”

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Pender County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 259-1212 and speak with Det. Short or Det. Lane.

Read the full article and watch the video on the WECT News 6 website.