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New Bern, North Carolina – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Craven County Superior Court last week, DESMOND RASHAUN BENNETT, 28, of Havelock, was convicted upon his guilty plea to several felony drug offenses, and was imprisoned as an habitual felon. Superior Court Judge R. Kent Harrell presided, and the cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Chekesha Hukins, and investigated by the Havelock Police Department and the New Bern Police Department.

On July 6, 2016, Bennett had just completed a drug transaction in Carteret County, which Carteret County Sheriff’s Office investigators had observed, and they requested the vehicle be stopped as a result of the deal. Bennett was a passenger in a car driven by a Kendra Lawrence, who at the time was driving erratically and swerving left of center, showing signs of impairment. After the stop, Bennett admitted to having needles and other paraphernalia in his pants. Bennett also had heroin in a gum wrapper, and in his shoes, he had a bag of heroin and a bag of cocaine. He also had the buy money that was tracked by the Carteret investigators.

Bennett was on probation for an earlier Carteret County conviction, and a subsequent probation search discovered that Bennett had methamphetamine in his residence, as well as heroin and buprenorphine strips. Needles were scattered on the floor of the residence, and another person present was also charged. Police also seized more cash and a cell phone.


Bennett pled guilty to Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver (PWISD) Heroin, PWISD Cocaine, Enhanced Possession of Buprenorphine, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (two counts). Bennett also admitted his status as an habitual felon, having at least three prior felony convictions.

Judge Harrell sentenced Bennett to a minimum of 6 years and 8 months, and a maximum of 9 years, in prison and ordered him to pay attorney fees, laboratory fees, and

court costs, and further ordered all seized cash to be forfeited. Probation violation hearings are pending for Bennett in Carteret County, also, which could result in additional prison time.

NOTE: Under North Carolina’s 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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