Pair of former Appalachain State students from Dare sentenced for role in college drug ring

[Appalachian State University photo]

A pair of former Appalachian State students from Dare County have been sentenced to federal prison after guilty pleas for their roles in a massive drug ring at App State, UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke.

Kyle Parrish Beckner of Boone, formerly of Southern Shores, pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy to distribute LSD, and Devin James McDonald of Kill Devil Hills pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported Beckner was sentenced to an active sentence of 18 months and supervised probation of 18 months.
McDonald was given a sentence of 24 months in prison and supervised release of 36 months.

McDonald was indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2020 on a charge of felony conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina, in October 2019 investigators made a controlled purchase of one ounce of cocaine from McDonald, after he was identified by a cooperating source as someone who distributed cocaine to other App State students.

Beckner was charged with distribution of LSD and use of a communication facility to facilitate a drug felony.

According to the press release, in the summer of 2020 a cooperating defendant identified an App State student and member of the Delta Chi fraternity member as a known distributor of controlled substances.

In August 2020, Beckner allegedly sold 1,000 doses of LSD to the informant for $3,000 in the parking lot of a Chapel Hill restaurant.

Federal investigators found the drug ring moved thousands of pounds of marijuana, several hundred kilograms of cocaine, LSD, Molly, mushrooms, steroids, human growth hormones, Xanax and other narcotics. The deals totaled more than $1.5 million.

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