Fentanyl and Firearm Possession Gets Edenton Man Federal Prison Sentence

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

NEW BERN, N.C. – An Edenton man was sentenced today to 91 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and felon in possession of a firearm. On July 14, 2021, Rayshawn Lamont Anthony, pled guilty to the charges.

“One of our top priorities is keeping North Carolinians safe from dangerous narcotics traffickers pushing fentanyl in our communities, which has caused countless overdoses and taken far too many lives,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley.  “We are working closely with law enforcement across Eastern North Carolina to prosecute narcotics trafficking and the violence so often associated with the drug trade.  We are committed to working with Chief King to keep Edenton a safe place for people to live, work, and raise a family.” 

“The Edenton Police Department is committed to working closely with our citizens towards a crime free community. We will continue to partner with The United States Department of Justice, The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosive and The First Judicial District.  If you are a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and you meet the criteria, we will seek federal prosecution and you will end up on our next video,” said Edenton Police Chief Henry King. 

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Anthony, 30, came to the attention of the Edenton Police Department after he was found walking down the highway away from a vehicle.  An officer stopped to see if Anthony needed assistance, but he declined.  After seeing suspicious items in plain view inside the vehicle, the officer located Anthony again after receiving a report that Anthony had just stolen a separate vehicle.  Officers used a K9 unit to conduct an open-air sniff around the first vehicle which alerted to the presence of narcotics.  Upon a search, officers located 12 individually wrapped packages of fentanyl and a loaded 9mm firearm along with Anthony’s identification card.  Anthony was arrested on state charges and released on bond.  While out on bond, Anthony was encountered again by the Edenton Police Department in a traffic stop in which he was a passenger.  Officers found him in possession of cocaine and a stolen .380 caliber firearm.  He was subsequently taken into federal custody and detained.

Anthony qualifies as a Career Offender under federal law, having two prior felony drug convictions: sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.  His other convictions include a prior felon in possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving while license revoked. 

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Edenton Police Department, the Chowan County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Dodson prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:21-CR-00004-FL.