JACKSONVILLE, N.C. – On December 1, 2021, a jury found Richard Humphrey, 41, of 125 Texie Lane in Jacksonville, guilty as charged of possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, resisting an officer, and driving while license revoked.
After conviction by the jury, the defendant pled guilty to having attained the status of being a habitual felon. Judge Imelda Pate, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge for Lenoir and Wayne Counties, sentenced the defendant to a minimum of 40 months and a maximum of 60 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction. The State was represented by Assistant District Attorney Bob Roupe.
The evidence showed that on September 18, 2020, Jacksonville Police Department officer Carolyn Handy observed the defendant driving a 2008 Cadillac CTS in Brandywood Apartments in the Brynn Marr area of Jacksonville. Handy observed that the tint on the vehicle was darker than allowed by law. Handy also knew that the defendant’s driver’s license was revoked based on previous encounters with him.
Officer Handy attempted to conduct an investigative traffic stop. After the defendant pulled into a parking space, Officer Handy got out of her vehicle to speak with him. As she approached him, he ran away from her on foot. She chased him and caught him a couple of minutes later in between a set of the apartments. As she apprehended the defendant, she saw something fall out of the defendant’s sock. It was a dollar bill containing marijuana. The defendant stated, “it’s just weed, it’s just weed.”
Other officers arrived on the scene to assist Officer Handy. They found a dollar bill stuffed inside the cigarette lighter of the Cadillac CTS that the defendant was driving. When removed, the dollar bill had cocaine in it.
When the defendant was taken down to the Police Department to be booked for these charges, he was belligerent and would not cooperate with the officers. For his safety and theirs, they could not even fingerprint him at that time.
The officers testified that this was the fourth time in five months that they had encountered this defendant driving this vehicle (registered to his cousin) that had illegal tint while the defendant’s driver’s license was revoked. On two of those prior occasions, he was also found with marijuana on his person. On the one prior occasion in which he was not found to be in possession of narcotics, he jumped and ran from officers and was tracked by a K-9 to a house about a quarter of a mile down the road where he was found profusely sweating.
Prior to this date of offense, the defendant had been convicted of 12 felonies on six different dates of judgment. Eight of those prior 12 felony convictions were for cocaine charges, three were for felony marijuana charges, and the other was for possessing a firearm by a convicted felon. He has served prison sentences on 14 different occasions prior to this trial.
District Attorney Ernie Lee says that “this office will continue to be aggressive on the prosecution of those who continue to violate the controlled substance laws of this state with particular emphasis on habitual felons. Individuals cannot be permitted to continue to violate the laws of this state. Furthermore, this office will not tolerate those individuals who are belligerent with law enforcement who are simply trying to do their jobs in protecting the public.”