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Carteret County District Attorney Scott Thomas Announces Superior Court Convictions For Drug Possession And Habitual DWI


Beaufort, North Carolina – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced the following convictions obtained by his office in Carteret County Superior Court during the week of December 3 through 7. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge John Nobles presided, and the cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Ashley Eatmon.

FRANCISCO RAMOS, JR., 41, of Morehead City, pled guilty to two counts of Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver a Schedule II Controlled Substance, four counts of Sale of a Schedule II Controlled Substance, and one count of Sale of Heroin. The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Morehead City Police Department and the Atlantic Beach Police Department, conducted an undercover operation which involved purchasing methamphetamine from Ramos and others. Officers were able to apprehend Ramos during a traffic stop, and discovered more drugs and $ 5,000 in cash during a search of his car. Later that day, officers conducted a search of a motel room in Atlantic Beach were Ramos stayed, and they recovered methamphetamine, Adderall, Xanax, various items of drug paraphernalia, and a loaded revolver. Ramos has been a target of a string of undercover purchases, and on at least one occasion, sold heroin laced with fentanyl, an extremely dangerous opioid drug. Judge Nobles sentenced Ramos to a prison term of 96 to 181 months (8 to 15 years).

STEPHANIE SMITH, 36, of Newport, pled guilty to three counts of Uttering a Forged Instrument, and one count of Possession of Heroin. Smith was found in possession of counterfeit $ 50 bills which she passed at three local Carteret County businesses. On a different occasion, Smith was found to be in possession of a quantity of heroin. Judge Nobles sentenced her to consecutive sentences which require her to serve 12 months in prison, and then four years of probation once she is released.

LEEDELL MURRELL, 53, of Beaufort, pled guilty to Felony Possession of Stolen Goods. Murrell came into possession of a propeller of a commercial fishing vessel that had been stolen from the vessel owner. Murrell took that propeller to a recycling center, represented that he owned the propeller and was entitled to sell it, and sold it for cash. Judge Nobles sentenced Murrell to 9 to 20 months in prison.

KENDRA HARRIS, a/k/a KENDRA WARBURTON, 33, of Havelock, pled guilty to Habitual Impaired Driving. She was arrested and charged with Driving While Impaired (DWI) in June, 2017, and the prosecution found that, within the last 10 years, Harris had been conviction of at least three other separate impaired driving offenses. As a result, the District Attorney sought and obtained an indictment against her for Habitual Impaired Driving. Judge Nobles sentenced Harris to 12 to 24 months in prison. Harris also has pending probation violation cases in Craven County on earlier DWI cases, and those probation violation matters are set for a January 10, 2019, term of court.

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.

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

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