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BY TERRY POPE
Two men who pleaded guilty in the
November 1982 Brixham II drug
smuggling operation were given
90-day active prison sentences and
fined $5,000 each in Brunswick County
Superior Court Monday.
Saying each defendant in the conspiracy
deserved the "same as the
others," Judge Preston Cornelius
issued the sentences following a tearful
plead from the defendants and
ukii diivi uuv iui pi uuuviun uisicciu.
Wesley Bryant, 38, and Raymond
Lionel Barnes Jr., 40. both from
Charleston, S.C., received identical
five-year prison sentences, suspended
for all but 90 days, and were alsc
placed on 12 montlis supervised probation.
Each defendant was alsc
ordered to pay $5,000 in fines plus
Their attorney. State Rep. Alex
Hall, of Wilmington, asked Judge
Cornelius to issue probationarj
sentences for the two men who are
now living and working ir
Charleston. Both had good records
before the "promise of a one time
shot at making a sizeable amount ol
money." Hall said.
District Attorney Michael Easle>
argued for a split-sentence instead
"""116 <*?' ll'lll CI
suspended sentence. Easlev said thai
eight other defendants who "had jusl
as much of a minor role in the drug
conspiracy" had received active
terms in May. Both Bryant and
Barnes were also scheduled foi
sentencing in May, but their hearing*
were delayed while Hall was ir
BY TERRY POPE
Three Statesville teenagers wht
robbed a Thomasboro minister al
gunpoint, tied him up and then ran
sacked his home last June were eacl
sentenced to 14 years in prison Mon
day in Brunswick County Supcrioi
Willlum K. Vldcers, 18, l*c Eri?
Hedrick. 19, and Gregory D. Kite, 17
each pleaded guilty in May to rob
bery with a dangerous weapon in i
olea bargain agreement with th?
district attorney's office. The thre<
were among four Statesvillt
teenagers who were charged with tht
June 1984 armed robbery of Freemar
Cause, a Thomasboro minister ant
principal of Union Primary School.
A fourth defendant. Nathan B
Mayberry, was scheduled for senten
cing Wednesday inornir.g at 9:3(
All four youths were arrested or
June 24, 1984 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.,
following a spree across the count>
that not only involved the robbery
but the felonious breaking and enter
ing and larceny involving a Carolina
Shores home owned by Alexander
In a plea bargain agreement with
the district attorney's office, charge*
of felonious breaking and entering
and another count of breaking anc
Raleigh serving as a member of the
Both Bryant and Barnes were coni
sidered "off-loaders" in the drug conl
spiracy in which iiie Biixiiam II, a
72-foot trawler, was seized in the
Shallotte River on Nov. 27. 1982.
Thanksgiving Day, with more than
30,000 pounds of marijuana aboard.
; The defendants "offered substantial
assistance in the arrest of co
I conspirators" in the case. Easley
said, and entered their pleas early in
I 1983. After entering their pleas, both
i men returned to Charleston where
! they began work with the "Low Country
Trader," a local publication. Hall
? Barnes, now a manager of a floor
; covering company in Charleston, told
Judge Cornelius Monday that he has
; not told his employer that he was fac;
ing sentencing on drug conspiracy
charges in North Carolina. Cornelius
' granted both defendants one week to
i "get their affairs in order." before
: reporting to begin serving their
t 90^1ay sentences next Monday at 5
Bryant was a band director for
Baptist Hill High School and was a
trumphet player for the Charleston
i Symphony Orchestra before he
t became involved in the drug smuggl
1 inn operation. Hall said. Hall
1 presented Judge Cornelius with a
stack of letters from Bryant's former
I principal, teachers and friends "that
just think the world of him and know
> that he has just learned his lesson by
i all this."
-S Get 14-Ye
entering were dismissed against
each defendant in May in exchange
t for guilty pleas to robbery with a
i According to the Brunswick County
Sheriff's Department's report of the
June robbery. Cause was outside his
home on U.S. 17 washing his car
; when he heard his doorbell ring.
After calling out to the visitors,
Cause was approached by one of the
? suspects with a gun and forced to go
; inside the home where his hands
; were tied behind his back.
In court Monday, Assistant District
i Attorney Napoleon Barefoot Jr. said
I the incident "was a rather serious
matter" and that three of the boys
were carrying pistols at the time of
the robbery. Clause's home was ransacked
and close to $1,100 in
I valuables and money were taken, he
i Clause was able to give detectives
descriptions of the youths, who were
apprehended by Myrtle Beach police
officers the following day. One officer
was shot in the leg while one of
the boys was shot in the arm during
an exchange of gunfire on the strand,
the police report stated,
i Attorneys for the three defendants
i Monday asked that Judge Cornelius
; sentence each youth under the Coin1
mitted Youthful Offender (CYO) act,
9 between Oceon Isle & Sunset Beoc
"I think both these gentlemen have
already been punished," Hall said.
"They have demonstrated over the
past three years that they would
abide by it (probation)."
After reading the letters of recommendation,
Judge Cornelius asked
each defendant if they wished to say
anything on their own behalf. Bryant
was the first to address the court.
"I want to apologize your honor to
the people of the state of North
Carolina," Bryant began. "This has
really devastated me, ruined me
financially," he added, before he
lowered his head and began fighting
Iwplr toarc "T Hnn't Hiinli I'll Km
weeks in jail following their arrests
in 1980. Those weeks will be credited
toward their 90-day active sentences.
which would have made each eligible
for immediate parole. However, Cornelius
sentenced each defendant as
regular youthful offenders instead.
Each defendant was given the
mandatory 14-year sentence for armed
robbery and ordered to take a
drug-alcohol education course. Upon
parole, each defendant whs ulsii
ordered to repay a share of restitutions
to Gause since only $60 was
recovered in the crime.
Barefoot said a diagnostic report
on the three teenagers did not recommend
CYO status for any of the boys.
He asked Judge Cornelius to follow
the recommendations due to the
seriousness of the crime.
All three teenagers were described
by their attorneys as being under the
influence of drugs or alcohol at the
time of the crimes.
"I had a suspicion that he was on
the drugs," said Ix?e Hedrick's
father, J.W. Hedrick. "We tried to
counsel with him and had our pastor
talk with him."
Both Hedrick and Rev. Otis
Johnson were called as character
witnesses for the defendants Monday.
Judge Cornelius asked Ciau.se if he
had anything to say before the
"No. sir," (iause replied. "I don't
have anything to say."
able to go back to teaching."
When the judge asked why he par
ticipated in the conspiracy. Bryant
replied. ' For the money."
"Anything like this will ruin you,"
Barnes said in his address to the
court. "I took some bad advice. They
(employers) don't really know about
this yet. If they do. I'll just get
Both men pleaded guilty in Nov.
1983 to charges of conspiracy to traffic
into the county in excess of 10,000
pounds of marijuana, a crime that
carries a maximum sentence of 40
years and a minimum of 12 years in
In sentencing the two men Monday,
Cornelius said he would "deviate
from the presumptive sentence"
since the men cooperated with officials.
Both men had served three
^ SUNSET BE)
I mi at the beach an) I found ^
this darting shop where they're ^ n
having a big summer mW!25* rarmt(V
off the already low discounted
prices on shorts and short sets.
Wish you were here.
f D'mlitv larlipv' Annaml
579-5050 . *
26% - 7
A Unit/tie Specially Shop!
CI I A/IA/ICD CMC
25% to t
5WICK BEACON, Thursday. July 25, 1985?Page 3-A
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