Drug trafficker sentenced after conviction for deadly heroin distribution

(Photo: Pamlico County Sheriff's Office)

WILSON - A drug trafficker was sentenced to 324 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release after being convicted for distributing heroin, which resulted one man's death.

Elton Wayne Walston, 66, was found guilty of one count of distributing heroin that resulted in the death of a Wilson man, one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, one count of illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition and four counts of distribution of heroin on June 22, 2017.

In 2015, the Wilson Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Raleigh, North Carolina, identified Walston as a source of heroin in the Wilson, Greenville and Nash County areas, officials said.

An investigation confirmed that Walston sold heroin on multiple occasions, including a sale that led to the death of a Wilson man, in March of 2015.

Sarah Anne Mollenhauer, 32, of Arizona was also sentenced to 45 months of imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release. Mollenhauer pled guilty to a Superseding Criminal Information on November 15, 2016 that charged her with Distribution of a Quantity of Heroin and Aiding and Abetting, officials confirmed.

In a press release, officials said that the evidence at the same trial revealed that Mollenhauer notified the mother of the man who died that her son wasn't breathing and that he was at his brother's residence on Dover Road in Wilson.

Once on the scene, officers located and questioned Mollenhauer. She said that she and the victim "hung out" on the evening of March 26, 2015, but she left around 12:30 a.m. on March 27,2015, to meet up with her boyfirend.

When Mollenhauer returned to the residence with her boyfriend, a nurse, to check on the victim, they discovered that he was lying on the floor with his eyes closed and breathing heavily. She told police that they left the residence at 1:30 a.m.

Mollenhauer said she returned once again to the home at 5:30 a.m. to check on the victim. At that time, she found him lying on the bathroom floor, not breathing.

He was pronounced dead on the scene by responding EMS personnel at 6:21 a.m.

"Heroin and other opioids are a deadly plague across our country," Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, said. "Our office -- along with the entire U.S. Department of Justice -- is determined to hold accountable those who deal these deadly drugs to enrich themselves. This prosecution is an example of that determination."

The case was investigated by the DEA Raleigh Resident Office, Wilson Police Department, North Carolina State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations Crime Lab and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

"This guilty verdict is a victory for law enforcement and the citizens of North Carolina," DEA Special Agent in Charge Daniel R. Salter said. "DEA and our law enforcement partners are committed to bringing to justice those who prey on individuals who are unfortunately addicted to this poison. Hopefully, this verdict will bring some comfort to the families impacted by Mr. Walston's illegal activities."

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