All made sales to confidential informants working with area police

BEAUFORT | Three Newport residents were among the five defendants convicted last week in Carteret County Superior Court for a variety of drug-related crimes.

Each conviction resulted from the defendant’s guilty plea prior to their cases being called for trial, according to a news release issued Monday by the office of District Attorney Scott Thomas.

Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Parsons presided, and the cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney David Spence.

Convicted were:

• Donnie Howard, 50, of Newport, pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking in opiates and was sentenced to a prison term of 70 to 93 months. Howard sold hydrocodone and oxycodone to a confidential informant working with the Morehead City Police Department on several occasions between July 2015 and January 2016.

• Joshua Ely, 25, of Beaufort, pleaded guilty to two counts of the sale of cocaine, and one count of the sale of oxycodone and was sentenced to a total of 30 to 63 months in prison. The sales were made to a confidential informant working with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office and the Morehead City Police Department in November and December 2015.

• Gerald Whitfield, 59, of Newport, pleaded guilty to two counts of the sale of oxycodone and was sentenced to a prison term of 10 to 21 months. In June and September 2016 Whitfield sold oxycodone to a confidential informant working with the Morehead City Police Department.

• Timothy Reginald Jones, 34, of Morehead City, pleaded guilty to the sale of morphine and was sentenced to a prison term of 12 to 24 months. Jones sold the drugs to a confidential informant working with the Morehead City Police Department in April 2014.

• Donovan Reels, 29, of Newport, pleaded guilty to two counts of the sale of heroin and one count of the s ale of marijuana and was sentenced to a prison term of 26 to 50 months. Reels sold the drugs to a confidential informant working with the Morehead City Police Department in July 2015.