Stanly County Opioid Distributor Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison | USAO-MDNC

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – An Albemarle man was sentenced to federal prison Tuesday for charges involving heroin and fentanyl distribution, announced Matthew G.T. Martin, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.

ZANNIE JAY LOTHARP, 35, was found guilty by a jury on March 11, 2020, of one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl, and one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin. On November 19, 2020, LOTHARP was sentenced by United States District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder to a total of 300 months of imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

Evidence introduced at trial showed that LOTHARP and another person used two Stanly County residences on the same street for opioid distribution activity. The narcotics were kept at one house and sold from another house on Washington Lane in Albemarle. After a state search warrant was executed on October 19, 2018, for both Washington Lane locations, LOTHARP was arrested by state authorities but released on bond. Following his release, LOTHARP again sold heroin on January 15, 2019.

“This sentence sends a clear message: dealing opioids does not pay. We are working hard to address the opioid epidemic,” said U.S. Attorney Matt Martin. “Stanly County is now a safer place, thanks to the fine work of the law enforcement and prosecutors involved in this case.”

A co-defendant, Shonteya Christina Harris, age 34, from Albemarle, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl and was sentenced on October 19, 2020, to 40 months imprisonment and a three year term of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Albemarle Police Department, Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, Oakboro Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole R. DuPré and Tanner Kroeger for the Middle District of North Carolina.

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