Lumberton woman, former C.O. gets 75 months for smuggling drugs into prisons

LUMBERTON, N.C. (WMBF) – A former corrections officer from Lumberton was sentenced to 75 months for smuggling greeting cards laced with drugs into prisons.

In December 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety began investigating the distribution of illicit contraband in North Carolina prisons.

Investigators discovered a former correctional officer and postal contractor, 37-year-old Leann Little, of Lumberton, plotted with inmates to send them 45-MDMB-BINACA, a synthetic cannabinoid that is smoked for psychoactive effects.

According to court documents, inmates placed orders over the phone and used CashApp to pay Little.

Little sprayed the greeting cards or paper with liquid 45-MDMB-BINACA and mailed them to inmates in state corrections facilities. The cards were then cut into dosage units and consumed or used for currency.

On Thursday, Little pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of 4F-MDMB-BINACA, distributing a quantity of a mixture and sub-substance containing a detectable amount of 4F-MDMB-BINACA and money laundering conspiracy.

U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced Little to more than six years.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the United States Postal Inspection Service Office of Inspector General investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad Rhoades prosecuted the case.

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