- Coastal South Law
NC Middle School Teacher Arrested for Trafficking Marijuana
A 47-year-old Bolivia, NC woman was arrested recently after the fire department responded to reports of a possible fire at her home. In the process of investigating the source, found a hydroponic greenhouse full of marijuana plants behind her home. The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office then executed a search warrant on her property, citing the green house and allegations that she was growing marijuana plants on her property. When the sheriff’s office executed the warrants, they seized approximately 25 pounds of marijuana and various drug paraphernalia, including a bong, rolling papers, and a grinder. The woman is now facing charges for manufacturing and trafficking marijuana.
The defendant in this case is a sixth grade teacher at a local middle school, where she has taught for 25 years. Students and parents had only good things to say about her teaching, describing her as “free-spirited,” “caring,” and “the best teacher.” However, the whole community has been shocked to learn of the marijuana found on her property. When the woman was initially arrested, she was placed on leave from the school, but she resigned last week, before appearing in Brunswick County Court on Tuesday to respond to the charges. She initially waived her right to an attorney, but the proceedings have now been delayed pending the retention of counsel. Many local people showed up at court on Tuesday to show their support for her.
The teacher was initially placed in jail following her arrest but was later released on over $100,000 bail pending her trial. A man who lived in her home with her was also arrested but has not yet been released from jail.
Trafficking Marijuana Charges in North Carolina
Being charged with trafficking drugs in North Carolina differs significantly from being charged under federal trafficking laws. The primary difference is that in North Carolina, trafficking is based on the underlying possession amount as opposed to a demonstrable effort to actually distribute or traffic drugs. In other words, even if a resident was growing a large amount of marijuana purely for personal use, with no intent (demonstrable or otherwise) to sell or give any of it away, the sheer volume would determine whether that individual was charged with trafficking.
Penalties for Trafficking Marijuana in North Carolina
In North Carolina, you can be charged with trafficking if you are found to be in possession of at least 10 pounds of marijuana. Possessing 10 to 49 pounds of marijuana in North Carolina carries a penalty of 25 to 30 months in prison and a fine of $5,000. If you are found in possession of 50 to 1,999 pounds of marijuana, you can receive a sentence of 35 to 42 months in prison and a fine of $25,000. The maximum penalty for a marijuana trafficking charge in North Carolina is 219 months in prison and a $200,000 fine.
Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing charges for possession, manufacture, or trafficking marijuana or other controlled substances in North Carolina, the time to talk to an attorney is now. Contact the experienced Southeastern, North Carolina criminal defense attorneys at Coastal South Law today to schedule a consultation.