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By Erin Smith

Several drug-related cases were on the docket for Wednesday’s session of Bladen County Criminal District Court. During the session, several drug-related charges were dismissed and 17 cases were continued to the April session.

Sharonda Stevens accepted a plea arrangement through her Attorney Goldston Womble. Stevens pled guilty to one count of possession with the intent to manufacture, sell, deliver a schedule II substance. The State agreed to dismiss all other charges.

The charges dismissed included sell and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance and two counts of trafficking in opium or heroin.

As per the plea arrangement, Judge Scott Ussery sentenced Stevens to 5 to 15 months suspended and 18 months of supervised probation. She must also pay the costs of court and complete a TASC assessment and comply with all of the recommendations. TASC stands for Treatment Access Center. She must pay restitution in the amount of $220.

Womble told the court his client was sought out by Johnny Lee Smith Jr. Womble told the court that Smith is the father of Stephens’ child.

“He knew she was using prescription medication,” said Womble. “He was a confidential informant on several people.”

He said Stephens was contacted by Smith who claimed he was in pain. He did purchase some pills from her. Womble said Stephens does have medical issues that require her to take medication.

Richard Haykel accepted a plea arrangement through his Attorney Kyle Melvin. He told the court that Haykel pled guilty to possession with the intent to sell and deliver a schedule II controlled substance. The State agreed to dismiss all other charges.

The charges that were dismissed included possession with the intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver a schedule II controlled substance, possession of marijuana of up to one-half ounce, possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Bladen County Assistant District Attorney Shirley Smircic told the court that on August 9, 2018, during an investigation by the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics unit, undercover purchases of acetaminophen Oxycodone were made from Haykel.

As per the plea arrangement, Ussery sentenced Haykel to a minimum of 9 months and a maximum of 20 months suspended and 18 months supervised probation. Haykel must complete all of the terms and conditions of the TASC assessment. He must also pay all of the costs of court and pay restitution in the amount of $200. If he successfully completes all of the requirements of supervised probation, he will be transferred to unsupervised probation in 12 months.

David Charles Shaw also accepted a plea arrangement through his attorney Allen Johnson. He told the court that Shaw pled guilty to one count of selling a schedule II controlled substance and the State dismissed the remaining charges. The charges dismissed were delivery of a schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance.

Ussery sentenced Shaw to 45 months suspended and 18 months of supervised probation. He must pay the costs of court and restitution in the amount of $120 to Bladen County. Shaw must also complete a TASC assessment and complete all of the terms and conditions of that assessment. He also noted that any funds seized will be forfeited to the Bladen County School system.

Benjamin Franklin Todd accepted a plea arrangement through his attorney Allen Johnson. He pled guilty to one count of felony possession with the intent to manufacture, sell and deliver schedule III controlled substance. The State agreed to dismiss all other charges. Those charges included sell and delivery of schedule II controlled substance and manufacture sell delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

Smircic told the court that on December 19, 2018, Todd possessed two doses of suboxone. She told the court the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit made undercover purchases from Todd.

As per the plea agreement, Ussery sentenced Todd to 18 months of supervised probation. He must also pay the costs of court and pay restitution in the amount of $120. Todd must complete a TASC assessment and complete all of the terms and conditions of that assessment.

Arnal Bunnell accepted a plea agreement through his Attorney Rob Davis. Bunnell pled guilty to one count of possession with the intent to manufacture sell and deliver a schedule III controlled substance.

The State agreed to dismiss all other charges. Those charges included sell and delivery of a schedule III controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and manufacture sell delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

Smircic told the court that on December 11, 2018, the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit made undercover purchases through a confidential informant from Bunnell of Epinephrine Hydro Chloride.

As per the plea agreement, Ussery sentenced Bunnell to 4 to 14 months suspended and 18 months supervised probation. Burnell must complete a TASC assessment and complete all of the terms and conditions of that assessment. He must also pay $130 in restitution.

Daquan Jones accepted a conditional discharge through his Attorney Rob Davis. A conditional discharge means that if all of the requirements of his sentence are met, all charges are dismissed.

Jones pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a schedule IV controlled substance. The State agreed to dismiss all other charges. The charges dismissed include felony selling of schedule IV controlled substance, felony conspiracy to sell/deliver a schedule IV controlled substance, delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance, and manufacture sell delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

Smircic told the court that on December 11, 2018, the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit made undercover purchases through a confidential informant from Jones of Alprazolam medication.

Ussery sentenced Jones to 18 months of supervised probation and 24 hours of community service. The community service must be completed within 90 days. Jones must also pay a community service fee of $250 plus make restitution in the amount of $180.

“You possibly have a chance for a fresh start,” Ussery admonished.

The court also saw 16 cases continued to April 25 and one case is continued until May 14.

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