Habitual felon from Beaufort County sentenced after having drugs in prison

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Brandon Miller (District Attorney Scott Thomas photo)

NEW BERN, N.C. – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that Brandon Lee Miller, 34, of Chocowinity, pled guilty this week in Craven County Superior Court to several charges.

Miller pled guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance on Prison Premises, Damage to a Fire-Extinguishing System in a Jail and Malicious Conduct by a Prisoner. He was sentenced as a Habitual Felon to a maximum of 10 years in prison, to run at the expiration of a maximum 153-month prison sentence he was currently serving for Felony Breaking or Entering, Felony Larceny, Larceny of a Firearm, and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.

“We do not tolerate inmates who continue to violate the law even while locked up in jail or prison,” District Attorney Scott Thomas said. “Our detention and correctional officers have difficult jobs already and we fully support them when inmates break the law while incarcerated. We prosecute these inmates to the fullest extent allowed by the law and available evidence and will seek prison sentences in addition to the ones they are already serving.”

While an inmate at Craven Correctional Institution, a state prison in Vanceboro, NC, Miller was observed walking away from a housing unit to which he was not assigned on May 28, 2019. He was searched by prison staff and found to be in possession of a folded-up piece of paper which contained two strips of Buprenorphine, a Schedule III controlled substance.

In an unrelated incident at the Craven County Detention Center, a county jail, on February 6, 2020, Miller broke the sprinkler system in his cell, flooding the cell block. Miller then refused to comply with the instructions of Detention Center staff ordering him to exit his cell, telling them to “come get wet,” forcing them to physically extract him from the area. As detention officers attempted to gain compliance, Miller resisted by pulling away and flailing his arms with balled fists, swinging at the officers.

Miller was eventually controlled by the use of a TASER as he continued to resist by spitting blood and saliva on a detention officer. Due to prior felony convictions, Miller was prosecuted as a habitual felon, which by law requires his sentence on these convictions to run at the expiration of the sentence he was currently serving. His projected release date on the original sentence had been April 20, 2034.

Superior Court Judge R. Kent Harrell presided over the hearings and sentenced Miller. The State was represented by Assistant District Attorney Chekesha N. Hukins. The cases were investigated by the Craven County Sheriff’s Office.

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