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Rocky Mount men sentenced on drug charges

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Two Rocky Mount men will serve federal prison time after pleading guilty to drug charges in separate cases, prosecutors announced last week.

Marcus Antonio Lucas, 42, received a six-year sentence and 28-year-old Nathan Clevester Clark will be behind bars for five years. U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III handed down the sentences on consecutive days in a Raleigh federal courtroom, with Lucas’ hearing held on Aug. 6 and Clark’s sentencing on Aug. 7.

HEROIN CASE

Lucas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a quantity of heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin and aiding and abetting on May 2.

Investigators identified Lucas as a member of a drug ring that distributed heroin in Rocky Mount. A confidential informant and undercover officer bought multiple bricks of heroin from Lucas, according to Don Connelly, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon.

Authorities tried to stop Lucas’ car as he returned from Henderson and Lucas led them on a chase in Nash County, Connelly said in a news release. After officers disabled his vehicle with stop sticks, Lucas ran from the car and was caught following a foot chase. Connelly said officers found eight bricks of heroin — roughly 400 individual doses — in Lucas’ car.

Sheriff’s deputies from Nash and Edgecombe counties, members of the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force and State Bureau of Investigation agents investigated Lucas. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dena King handled his prosecution.

COCAINE CASE

Clark pleaded guilty to distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base on May 2.

Prosecutors say Clark was part of a drug ring selling cocaine and crack cocaine in Rocky Mount. Officers tried to arrest him on Jan. 3 after allegedly making several controlled cocaine buys from the suspect.

Connelly said Clark was about to sell 4 ounces of cocaine, but when he noticed law enforcement officers, he ran into a convenience store and placed his drugs on the shelf. Investigators seized the drugs and arrested Clark.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina prosecuted both men through its Take Back North Carolina Initiative, a federal, state and local partnership aimed at reducing violent crime, drug trafficking and crimes against law enforcement.

Tarboro police assisted Nash and Edgecombe sheriff’s deputies, SBI agents and regional task force members in Clark’s case. Assistant U.S. Attorney King also prosecuted Clark.

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