Man Indicted For Causing Overdose Death

A Johnston County Grand Jury has indicted a Four Oaks man for felonious death by distribution in connection with a 2019 overdose death.

On March 2nd, a Grand Jury in Smithfield indicted Stormy Hunter Lassiter 28, of Parkertown Road, Four Oaks in the death of James Aaron Bland Sr.

On November 29th, 2019, Four Oaks Police responded to 105-C Allen Court for an unconscious person.  Police and EMS arrived and found the Bland not breathing. Efforts to save his life were not successful.

Stormy Lassiter and Hannah Bradley, 30, of Allen Court, Four Oaks were in the residence with the 25 year-old victim.  Detectives said Lassiter tampered with the crime scene by destroying and disposing of the victim’s mobile phone before notifying EMS.  Lassiter and Bradley were charged with felony obstruction of justice after Bland’s death.  Lassiter was convicted and received probation. Charges against Bradley were dismissed, police said.

Police said a forensic electronic investigation revealed that Stormy Lassiter provided the controlled substances to James Bland Sr. on the date he died.

According to the indictment, Lassiter sold heroin and methamphetamines to Bland and the ingestion of the two drugs caused his death.  “The sale of the heroin and methamphetamine was the proximate cause of James Aaron Bland Sr.’s  death and the defendant did not act with malice.”

The Death by Distribution Act was signed into law in 2019 by Gov. Roy Cooper. It allows prosecutors to charge drug dealers with a felony and a maximum penalty of up to 40 years in prison, if they had a previous unlawful distribution conviction. If they did not have a previous death by distribution conviction, they could still face a maximum of up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.  The NC General Assembly approved the bill in an effort to deter dealers and combat the opioid epidemic.