33-year-old Shay Thomas Lafone of 20th Street N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police…
A Lincoln County man has been sentenced to prison time in a meth trafficking case. On Thursday (August 11), U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced 65-year-old Ronald Keith Scronce of Lincolnton, to 168 months in prison and five years of supervised release for trafficking methamphetamine. The announcement was made by Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
According to filed documents and court proceedings, in July 2019, Scronce was on post release supervision for a state drug trafficking conviction. In accordance with the conditions of Scronce’s post release supervision, probation officers conducted a warrantless search of his residence, during which they seized methamphetamine.
Between July and August 2021, law enforcement investigating the case determined that Scronce sold heroin and methamphetamine on multiple occasions. Scronce even wrote a Facebook post in which he referenced violence against “snitches” and traveling to the beach for the purpose of selling narcotics. On August 23, 2021, law enforcement arrested Scronce and executed a federal search warrant at his residence, seizing methamphetamine, cash, and two firearms.
On February 2, 2022, Scronce pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and three counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. At Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Scronce’s sentence was enhanced due to his multiple prior convictions that led to his classification as a career offender, including prior convictions for robbery with a dangerous weapon, sell/deliver morphine, attempt to traffic meth, and possession with intent to distribute meth.
This case is the result of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation which has led to the federal prosecution of more than 60 individuals for drug trafficking. Law enforcement officers have also seized more than 27 kilograms of cocaine, 3.5 kilograms of heroin, 29 kilograms of fentanyl, 49 kilograms of methamphetamine, 70 firearms, more than $385,000 in cash, and over $800,000 in additional property.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King commended the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Huntersville Police Department, and the Gastonia Police Department for their coordination and investigation of the case. Assistant United States Attorney Steven Kaufman, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.