HEROIN TRAFFICKER SENT TO PRISON FOR MORE THAN 16 YEARS

NEW BERN – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Craven County Superior Court today, MILTON EUGENE LANCASTER, a/k/a “Red”, 54, of Vanceboro, was convicted by a jury following a two-day trial of heroin trafficking and related offenses, and received a prison sentence of more than 16 years. Resident Superior Court Judge Josh Willey presided over this term, and the cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Robert McAfee.

A fight and stabbing occurred outside Lancaster’s residence on Mile Road in Vanceboro. The person who had committed the stabbing had come from inside the residence. Once Craven County Sheriff’s Office investigators were made aware of the details, they obtained a search warrant for Lancaster’s residence, to look for the weapon used in the stabbing, as well as any evidence of blood inside the residence. When they arrived to execute the search warrant, Lancaster was outside the residence, and the officers called him to have him stop. He refused, and went into the residence, with the officers following him shortly after. Once inside, the officers ordered the people inside the residence onto the floor, and then searched chairs and a couch to make sure they could have the persons sit still while they continued the search. Under the cushion of a chair immediately next to the door they found two plastic bags containing what appeared to be heroin and cocaine. A witness inside the residence said that Lancaster had entered shortly before, announced that the Sheriff’s Office was there, and threw something under the chair cushion. Laboratory tests revealed that the larger bag contained 11.29 grams of heroin, laced with fentanyl and two other drugs, and the smaller bag contained 3.99 grams of crack cocaine.

The jury deliberated on Tuesday afternoon and this morning, and returned guilty verdicts to the following counts: Trafficking in Heroin by Possession, Maintaining a Dwelling for Controlled Substances, and Possession of Cocaine.

The jury was then called upon to hear evidence that Lancaster had attained the status of Habitual Felon. Lancaster’s prior record, which extends back more than 35 years, includes felony convictions for Arson, Breaking and Entering, Sale of Cocaine, and Obtaining Property by False Pretense. The jury deliberated for mere minutes before returning a verdict of guilty.

Judge Willey sentenced Lancaster to a total prison sentence of 196 to 260 months (16-1/3 years to 21 and ¾ years).

District Attorney Scott Thomas said, “These guilty verdicts by the jury are the result of good work by the Craven County Sheriff’s Office and ADA Robert McAfee. They worked diligently to prepare this case for trial and to present evidence to the jury. Drug dealers and habitual felons are a top priority for my office. Prison sentences such as the one imposed in this case make our communities safer.”

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