FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Prosecutor says lotto winner paid for drug suspect’s $3M bond

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A prosecutor says a lottery winner was behind the $3 million bond that got a drug suspect out of jail earlier this year. Now that suspect is back behind bars under a bond that’s twice as high.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Thomas said in Brunswick County Court this morning that Marie Holmes paid for the bond that set Lamarr McDow free in March just weeks after she won a $188 million Powerball jackpot. It was widely rumored at the time that Holmes, who Thomas referred to as McDow’s fiancee, had put up the money, but court records showed only information on payment of the bond from three bail bondsmen, who do not have to disclose who paid them to post the bond.

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Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputies arrested McDow, 31, again yesterday afternoon for allegedly violating the curfew requirements of his pre-trial release on GPS monitoring, BCSO spokeswoman Emily Flax said. She said when deputies got to the home McDow shares with Holmes on Boverie Street in the Rutledge neighborhood in Shallotte, there was a strong odor of marijuana inside, so they got a search warrant. During that search around 10 p.m. Flax says deputies found a gun and charged McDow with possession of a firearm by a felon. In court today the state said the gun is registered to Holmes, but that McDow had handled it, which led to the charge.

McDow, who investigators have said is a validated gang member who goes by the street name “Hot Sauce,” is back in jail under more than $6 million bond.

Officers say they also found marijuana in the home, which led to charges for Holmes and two other people in the house. Another person was charged with resisting an officer.



Holmes, 26, walked away with nearly $88 million after taking the lump sum and paying taxes on her mid-February Powerball win.

McDow was one of three suspects arrested in November 2014 as part of a year-long investigation. He was charged with crimes including trafficking heroin and possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin. The investigation stemmed from an incident in July in the Shallotte area when more than 8,000 bags of heroin was seized.

McDow’s criminal history includes convictions for assault on a female, assault and several counts of drug possession dating back to 2000.

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