5 arrested in connection with 5 overdose deaths in Harnett County, deputies say

Local News

LILLINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Five men were arrested in connection with five overdose deaths of five people, the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office said.

The sheriff’s office said it was a lengthy investigation that led to five arrests. Deputies said the five victims purchased illegal narcotics from the five men arrested.

“The opioid epidemic has never gone away. It’s just as bad, if not worse than before,” said Sheriff Wayne Coats. 

“I want to charge everybody I can in these overdose deaths,” he added.

The sheriff’s office said four of the five men arrested remain behind bars at the Harnett County Detention Center. One posted bond.

Below are the names and charges related to the investigation:

  • William Michael Hall, 34, of Spring Lake was arrested on March 30 and served with a warrant for one count of death by distribution. Hall received a $250,000 secured bond
  • Shelton Dmario Newby, 29, of Broadway was arrested on March 30 and served with a warrant for one count of death by distribution. Newby received a $150,000 secured bond
  • Antonio Ramelle Hall, 31, of Cameron was arrested on April 9 and served with a warrant for one count of second-degree murder. Hall received a $550,000 secured bond
  • Jawuan Antoine Newsuan, 23, of Sanford was arrested April 20 and served with warrants for one count of death by distribution and possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin, maintain a vehicle/dwelling/place for controlled substance. Newsuan was released after posting a $250,000 secured bond
  • Jaron Mitchell, 30, of Linden was arrested on April 7 and served with warrants for one count of death by distribution and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance. Mitchell received a $1.6 million secured bond.

Since 2019, Sheriff Wayne Coats says his office has arrested at least seven people on death by distribution charges, including a man accused of selling fentanyl to John Norris’ daughter, Meredith.

“I think it’s one of the best laws that’s ever been passed,” said Norris. “The drug dealers know that fentanyl can take a life.”

It took his daughter Meredith’s life on Aug. 23, 2020. Through the pain, Norris tells CBS 17 he’s relied on his faith.

He has this message for people suggesting from addiction:

“What I want to get across is that the kids that are hurting and in pain and suffering in any way, whether it’s depression or loneliness, I just want to let them know Jesus is the answer to what they’re looking for,” he said. “To really come to know him and have an encounter with him and to fill that void that’s missing in their heart and in their life.”

Amy Godwin’s daughter overdosed on fentanyl after she left a treatment center in Florida last September. Godwin tells CBS 17 authorities in Florida are working to charge the man who sold her the drugs with death by distribution.

“When Sheriff Coates said this is what he’s pursuing, I hope that it continues,” she said. “Death by distribution at least is some semblance of getting these dealers off the streets in a long-term situation from dealing anymore bad, dirty dope to those that are struggling with addiction.”

Coats has this message for people supplying them with drugs: “We’re gonna come after you. If you’re dealing drugs, we’re gonna be aggressive and not let you just take over the streets.”

The investigation is ongoing.

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