Bertie drug dealer gets 100 months

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2005

ELIZABETH CITY – If you do the crime, be prepared to pay the time.

A Colerain man, under a federal indictment for possession of crack cocaine, learned that lesson the hard way here Tuesday where Kevin Lamar Wingfield, 35, received an active 100-month sentence behind bars during a federal court proceeding.

Additionally, Wingfield faces five years of supervised probation following his release from prison.

Wingfield, who has previously served time on drug charges, was again arrested in November of 2003 at his Colerain residence, located in an area known as &uot;The Bottom.&uot;

A search warrant was executed at that residence. Upon entering the home, law enforcement officers encountered an environment with no lighting. However, they were able to observe Wingfield standing at a kitchen counter, with a flashlight in hand, where he was allegedly weighing crack cocaine on a set of digital scales.

Wingfield was immediately arrested and detained at the scene while lawmen searched the rest of the house and any vehicles located on the property. That search yielded one ounce of crack cocaine, valued at $1,200, in a vehicle. That quantity of drugs, once divided, would bring at least three times the original cost when sold on the street.

Also found was $557 in currency and other drug-related items – scales, packaging material, etc.

Wingfield was formally charged with possession with intent to sale and deliver crack cocaine, trafficking in cocaine by possession, trafficking in cocaine by transportation and maintaining a dwelling and a vehicle to keep a controlled substance.

At that time, he was taken to the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail and held under a $250,000 bond.

On Sept. 16 of last year, Wingfield was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for &uot;knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully possessed with intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base crack.&uot; Following that indictment, Wingfield was turned over from Bertie County custody to federal officials.

&uot;Hopefully, the length of the active sentence handed down in this case will act as a deterrent for those who are considering a life of dealing in drugs,&uot; said Bertie Sheriff Greg Atkins. &uot;We are doing every thing within our power, and using every available resource, to arrest those who choose this lifestyle. But in order to send a loud and clear message, we have to rely on the courts to dole out appropriate punishment.&uot;

Atkins said he was pleased with Tuesday’s judicial decision.

&uot;I’m happy for the law-abiding citizens of Colerain and all of Bertie County,&uot; he said. &uot;A known drug dealer is now off the streets for at least eight years. He will not be able to spread his poison and ruin the lives of so many people.&uot;

Bertie Narcotics Division Detective Frank Timberlake expressed a sigh of relief after Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.

&uot;As you can see, it’s a long process to move a drug dealer from local to federal charges, but the wait is well worth the time,&uot; Timberlake noted. &uot;We are thankful for those complaints from Colerain citizens that led us to set-up surveillance on Mr. Wingfield, eventually leading to his arrest.&uot;