NEW BERN – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Craven County Superior Court last week, JOSEPH M. FARMER, 33, of Newport, entered guilty pleas to a series of felony drug offenses, and was sentenced to a mandatory prison sentence. Resident Superior Court Judge Josh Willey presided, and the cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Chekesha Hukins.

In January, 2018, Havelock Police Department officers had outstanding arrest warrants for two persons – Savannah Fletcher and Edward Montague. Police received information that the two were staying at a hotel in Havelock. When police arrived to arrest Fletcher and Montague, Farmer was also present in the room. There was a marijuana cigarette in plain view on a table next to Farmer, and he was found to have a syringe in his pocket. A search of the room followed, and officers found several plastic bags, a set of scales, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia in the room. In addition, police found more than $ 1100 in cash, a 20-gauge shotgun (that had previously been reported stolen), and trafficking quantities of heroin, heroin laced with fentanyl, and methamphetamine.

Farmer pled guilty to Trafficking in Heroin, Trafficking in Opium, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Alprazolam and Clonazepan, Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon, Possession of a Stolen Firearm, and Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Heroin and Fentanyl.

Judge Willey sentenced Farmer to a mandatory 70 to 93 months in prison. He also ordered Farmer to pay a mandatory $ 50,000 fine, court costs, laboratory fees, and attorney fees. The judge did recommend that Farmer receive intensive drug treatment while in prison.

The cases against Fletcher and Montague remain pending, and are scheduled for the Court’s January 23, 2019, administrative term.

NOTE: Under North Carolina Structured Sentencing law, a convicted criminal defendant must serve all of the minimum active sentence and may be required to serve up to the maximum sentence. Upon release at the conclusion of the prison sentence, a nine to twelve month period of post-release supervision by a probation officer is required.

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