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BEAUFORT –- District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that JAMES DARON MOORE, 31, of Bridgeton, changed his plea in the middle of his jury trial yesterday, and was sentenced to a lengthy prison term. Resident Superior Court Judge John Nobles presided over this trial, and the cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorneys David Spence and Ashley Eatmon.

Moore originally entered a not guilty plea, and a jury was selected on Monday, April 9, and the State began its presentation of the evidence in the case. When the court took its lunch breach at 12:30 on Tuesday, the State was still presenting evidence, and Moore told his attorney that he wanted to change his plea to guilty.

The evidence that the jury was considering showed that on February 7, 2017 and February 9, 2017, Moore sold a quantity of heroin to an undercover informant working with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office. Both transactions took place in the parking lot of a shopping center in Newport, and on each occasion Moore received $1,000.00 in funds for the heroin sale. On February 20, 2017, Moore sold approximately 7 grams of heroin (a trafficking weight) to the same informant for the sum of $1,600.00 in cash, funds taken from the Sheriff’s Office Drug Fund. Moore was arrested shortly afterwards following a brief chase, and law enforcement recovered the $1,600.00 and another small amount of heroin from his groin area.


Moore pled guilty to two counts of Trafficking in Heroin, and Judge Nobles sentenced him to 140 to 186 months in prison (approximately 11 to 15 years), and imposed the mandatory $ 100,000 fine on Moore.

District Attorney Scott Thomas said, “As long as heroin dealers continue to operate in our communities, we will continue to investigate them, prosecute them, and send them to prison. North Carolina sentencing laws enable us to seek long prison

sentences in trafficking cases, and that is just what we do. We appreciate the good work of the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office and all of our law enforcement partners in establishing strong cases for prosecution.”

Both District Attorney Scott Thomas and Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck are members of the North Carolina Law Enforcement Opioid Task Force, a statewide group includes representatives from more than 30 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and organizations, working to protect communities and enable law enforcement officers to effectively combat the heroin and opioid epidemic.

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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