Two Lincoln County men will spend the next few years in a state prison facility after being found guilty of illegal drug activity this month in separate cases.
Adrian Bernard McLean, 27, of Old Plank Road in Stanley, stood trial Monday and Tuesday for charges stemming from a 2011 incident in which SWAT officers and county narcotics investigators raided his home, locating marijuana and cocaine — a “significant arrest and seizure,” according to Sheriff’s Lt. Jason Reid, head of the county’s drug division.
Reid also testified in the case on Monday.
He noted at the time of McLean’s arrest in the case two years ago, he was the largest known crack cocaine dealer on the county’s eastern end.
On Tuesday, a 13-member jury found McLean guilty of four of the five drug-related charges filed against him, prosecutors said.
As a result, McLean will spend between 47 and 57 months behind bars, according to Asst. District Attorney Micah Sanderson.
The defendant specifically received 35 to 42 months for trafficking cocaine by possession and 12 to 15 months for possession of a firearm by a felon, Sanderson said.
The prosecution dropped additional charges filed against the defendant including possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, conspiring to sell and deliver cocaine and conspiring to traffic in cocaine.
Deputies also charged Adrienne Nicole Fletcher, 29, in the case.
Fletcher is the mother of McLean’s three children — ages 10, 6 and 3.
Both Fletcher and McLean were each booked under a $150,000 bond following their arrests in 2011, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Fletcher has since accepted a plea deal in the case — a deal which decreased the severity of her charges but also mandated she testify during McLean’s trial this week.
Sanderson said she received at least two years supervised probation in the case and no active time.
While the Department of Social Services took the children from the couple’s then-Maiden residence following the raid, custody has since been restored to Fletcher, prosecutors said.
During the second day of the trial on Tuesday, the woman told the court she was unaware that cocaine and nearly $12,000 in cash had been hidden in various locations throughout her home and one of the four vehicles parked at her residence.
She did admit to knowing McLean smoked marijuana.
Reid credited the federal forfeiture of the vehicle and cash to the local law enforcement agency’s “outstanding” working relationship with the Department of Homeland Security.
The North Carolina Department of Revenue seized an additional vehicle, Reid said, for outstanding controlled substance tax.
For McLean’s actual arrest, the lieutenant didn’t give his division sole credit.
“The arrest is due to the proactive leadership of Sheriff David Carpenter,” Reid said.
While the defendant waived his right to testify in the trial, the jury heard additional testimony Tuesday from Misty Icard, forensic drug chemist and crime lab director at the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office State Crime Lab.
Icard revealed to the court how she confirmed through extensive field tests and chemical analysis that the more than 100 grams of a substance seized from the defendant’s home, did in fact, test positive for cocaine.
While defense attorney T.J. Wilson tried to argue the point that the analysis didn’t calculate the substance’s true percentage of cocaine — whose popular rock and powder forms are made from mixtures of water and baking soda — the prosecution assured the jury during closing arguments that the percentage was irrelevant.
According to state law, Sanderson said the illegal substance need only be “a mixture thereof.”
He urged the jury to reflect on trial evidence and testimonies in order to “put the pieces together.”
“Convict him,” Sanderson said, “And as jurors, protect your county and community.”
McLean has two additional felony convictions to his name from prior offenses in Lincoln County, one each in 2006 and 2007, for two separate instances of possessing a schedule II controlled substance, the North Carolina Department of Correction website showed.
In an unrelated case earlier this month, a judge handed down a hefty sentence to a second Lincoln County drug offender, the Sheriff’s Office said.
HughDaly Marquese Wilson, 34, of 1288 Meadowland Drive in Lincolnton, admitted to being an habitual felon, according to an agency press release.
Wilson was convicted of two felony counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and sell and deliver cocaine.
As a result of his recent convictions and lengthy criminal rap sheet, he will spend up to 215 months behind bars, the Sheriff’s Office said.
A judge ordered Wilson to serve between 85 and 111 months on the first charge followed by 80 to 105 months on the second charge.
His criminal record dates back to 1998 for drug-related charges and spans offenses in Lincoln, Catawba, Gaston and Iredell, NC DOC showed.
Reid, who said Wilson was known as “Jim Diamond” on the streets, felt the defendant received a just sentence for his consistent criminal behavior over the years.
“Wilson has been a thorn in the side of Lincoln County law enforcement for over a decade now,” he said. “His lengthy sentence is a combination of officers’ perseverance and a criminal past that eventually caught up with him.”
Wilson has since been transported to Central Prison in Raleigh, where he is projected to stay until 2031.