Asheville -- February 28, 2024: Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams said in a press release today, that a Weaverville woman was sentenced to 7.5 - 10 years in prison.

Lauren Michelle Rice, 34, was also ordered to pay a $100,000 fine. Following her guilty plea to criminal drug trafficking in opium/fentanyl and other drug charges, Rice will spend 120 months (7.5–10 years) in the care of the N.C. Division of Adult Corrections. This decision was made by Judge Karen Eady-Williams.

According to officials, on July 31, 2023, Rice was found when the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office IGrant and U.S.Marshal's Service located and arrested a fugitive in a hotel room at the  Quality Inn and Suites on Tunnel Road in Asheville.

On July 31, 2023, agents with the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office IGRANT unit assisted the U.S. Marshals Service in apprehending a wanted fugitive. Agents located the fugitive together with Lauren Rice at the Quality Inn and Suites located on Tunnel Road in Asheville.

Over $900 in cash was seized and narcotics were found in the hotel room in the following amounts: 34.5 grams of fentanyl, 4.6 grams of methamphetamine, 9.3 grams of cocaine, and 3.6 grams of methadone.



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