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Defendant gets maximum sentence for dealing fentanyl

A 40-year-old Asheville man was sentenced to 18 to 23 years in prison Wednesday after a Henderson County jury found him guilty of one count of trafficking in fentanyl.

Superior Court Judge William H. Coward sentenced Boevino Antwane Hammond to a mandatory sentence, for the highest statutory level, Level III, of trafficking in fentanyl, District Attorney R. Andrew Murray announced.

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Drug Enforcement and SWAT teams, assisted the Asheville Police Department in apprehending Hammond at 13 Cureton Place in Henderson County on March 15, 2018, according to court records and Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.

Hammond had warrants for his arrest out of Buncombe County for multiple drug trafficking charges. When the SWAT team attempted to serve the Buncombe County warrants by knocking on the door of 13 Cureton Place multiple times, and loudly announcing their presence, Hammond, who was a known occupant of the residence, failed to open the door. The SWAT Team breached the door and the Drug Enforcement and Swat Teams gained entry to the residence. Upon entry, they immediately apprehended and secured Hammond in the hallway of the residence. While apprehending the defendant, deputies noticed controlled substances, in plain view, in the residence and applied for a search warrant to thoroughly search the residence and seize any illegal drugs.

A subsequent court-authorized search turned up a brick of approximately 162 grams of a white powdery substance, $1,950 in cash, a Magic Bullet mixer with drug residue on the blades, along with drug cutting agents and a measuring scale. In the bathroom there was 71 grams of white powder and another 1.64 kilograms of a mixture containing fentanyl that Hammond tried to flush down the toilet. Apparently, there was so much substance, it did not flush. The controlled substances were sent to the State Crime Lab where it was determined to be fentanyl. Prior to the apprehension of Hammond, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office had not run across the illegal substance of fentanyl, a highly lethal and destructive drug that was just beginning to proliferate in the United States in 2018.

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office is to be commended for their professional assistance to the Asheville Police Department, and for selflessly putting themselves in harm’s way to execute a warrant under dangerous circumstances to ensure justice is served. Their flawless execution of Hammond’s warrant, and meticulous handling of an extremely dangerous crime scene undoubtedly resulted in the saving of countless lives, Murray said.

"Assistant District Attorney Heather Brittain’s skillful handling of the prosecution and sentencing of the defendant ensured he will not be poisoning the streets of Henderson County, or anywhere else for that matter, for many years to come," Murray said. This case is representative of how law enforcement and the District 42 Prosecutorial Team are partnering to make Henderson, Polk, and Transylvania counties a safe place to live, work, play and raise a family. Murray commended the hard work, sacrifices and dedication, of the law enforcement partners putting their lives on the line, every day, to keep the community safe.