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May 19, 2024

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Eight Individuals Plea Guilty To Drug Charges

Eight individuals have recently entered guilty pleas in separate cases related to drug trafficking or drug possession, as announced by Ashley Hornsby Welch, the district attorney representing the westernmost counties of North Carolina. These defendants collectively entered their pleas in late August at Haywood County Superior Court, with Judge Gary Gavenus presiding. The district attorney’s office has provided a summary of each case in a press release:

Robin Morris Baldwin Jr., aged 41, from Swannanoa, was arrested on December 1, 2022, at Exit 105 west on I-40 near Clyde. The vehicle’s heavily tinted windows drew the attention of Haywood County Deputy William Brigham. Baldwin consented to a vehicle search, leading to the discovery of a broken methamphetamine pipe and methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty to methamphetamine possession and habitual felon charges, resulting in a prison sentence of 30 to 48 months. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kate Robinette.

Michael Shawn Brown, aged 32, from Asheville, was arrested on January 31, 2023, at Exit 33 on I-40 following a traffic stop conducted by Deputy Hayden Green due to traffic violations. During a subsequent search, deputies found fentanyl. Brown pleaded guilty to opiates trafficking, receiving a 70 to 93-month prison term and a mandatory $50,000 fine. Assistant District Attorney Jeff Jones handled the case.

Charles “Chuck” Winfred Bryson Jr., aged 55, from Waynesville, faced three arrests within four months on drug-related charges. On July 9, 2023, Deputy Green stopped Bryson’s vehicle on New Clyde Highway for speeding and discovered methamphetamine in Bryson’s possession. On October 13, 2022, Deputy Brigham observed Bryson leaving a suspected drug house on Georgia Avenue, leading to a subsequent stop by Detective Sgt. Jordan Reagan, which uncovered methamphetamine. Another traffic stop on October 20, on Asheville Highway, resulted in the discovery of methamphetamine in Bryson’s vehicle. Bryson pleaded guilty to three counts of methamphetamine possession and three counts of habitual felon, receiving consecutive sentences totaling 60 to 96 months in prison. Assistant District Attorney Jeff Jones prosecuted the case.

Cassarah Ensley, aged 29, from Sylva, was arrested on March 2, 2023, in Canton, following a prior arrest on December 29, 2022, also in Canton, with Deputy Green receiving backup from Deputy Joshua Watts. Ensley pleaded guilty to fentanyl possession and methamphetamine trafficking, receiving a 70 to 93-month prison sentence and a mandatory $50,000 fine. Assistant District Attorney Jeff Jones handled the case.

Hunter Goodson, aged 26, from Waynesville, was arrested on drug charges at his residence after a search warrant was executed. He pleaded guilty to fentanyl possession and separate charges of opiates (fentanyl) trafficking. Goodson received a 70 to 93-month prison sentence and a $50,000 fine. Assistant District Attorney Jeff Jones prosecuted the case, with Waynesville Police Officer Cody Corn serving as the lead detective.

Teresa Spencer, aged 61, from Candler, was arrested on November 12, 2022, at a Maggie Valley motel following the discovery of illegal drugs during a joint operation involving the Maggie Valley Police Department and the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office. Officers involved included Maggie Valley Police Chief Matt Boger, David Stoller, Sgt. Reagan, and Craig Campbell from the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office. Spencer pleaded guilty to methamphetamine and fentanyl trafficking, receiving concurrent sentences totaling 70 to 93 months and mandatory fines amounting to $100,000. Assistant District Attorney Jeff Jones handled the case.

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