Drug ‘mule’ going to prison

Published 9:32 am Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Mocksville man who may have served as a “mule” for drug deals will spend the next several years behind bars, after being sentenced in Davie Superior Court Sept. 25.

Jeffrey Kent Potts, 31, of Duke Whittaker Road, was charged with two counts trafficking in opium or heroin, possession with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia after detectives found drugs in his car.

According to Assistant DA Rob Taylor, on March 17, 2015, the Davie Sheriff’s Department vice and narcotics units were watching a home where it was believed drug activity was taking place. Taylor said a vehicle driven by Potts traveled to and parked at the home for three to four minutes.

Deputy Brad Almond pulled behind Potts’ vehicle when it left the home and watched as Potts’ car crossed the center line three times. He pulled Potts over and approached the vehicle, where he found Potts behind the wheel, acting “fidgety and nervous,” according to the notes Taylor read in court.

Almond asked Potts if he minded if he took a look inside the car and Potts stepped back and told him to go ahead. When Almond looked into the back seat, he saw a plastic box on the floorbed that contained scales, “two bags of a crystalline-type substance,” a canister that contained 49 blueish-colored pills believed to be an opioid derivative, $1,400 in cash, rolling papers and several plastic bags.

Potts was arrested.

Taylor said the lab report showed the pills were Oxycodone and the crystalline substance was methamphetamine, just shy of 26 grams.

“I feel like he was the mule and not a dealer,” Taylor told Judge Lori Hamilton.

His attorney, Carlos Jane, told Hamilton that Potts has a 4-year-old son and that his mother was in court with him. He said he knew Potts would have a lengthy sentence because he would be sentenced under mandatory trafficking levels.

When asked if he had anything to say, Potts told Hamilton he just wanted to “get it over with.”

As part of his plea arrangement, two opium trafficking charges and one charge each of possession with intent to sell/deliver methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed, as were charges from district court that included conspiracy to sell methamphetamine, speeding 90 in a 70, two counts of driving while license revoked, and fictitious tag.

He was sentenced to 70 to 93 months in prison with credit for the 119 days in jail he spent awaiting trial. He must obtain a substance abuse assessment and treatment, psychiatric/psychological counseling, pay a $600 lab fee, and $1,020 in attorney fees.

Potts must also pay court costs and a fine of $50,000.

He hugged his mother before he was led from the courtroom.