ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — A Bladenboro man is headed to prison after he pleaded guilty in court Monday for a 2016 home invasion and drug charges.
27-year-old Thomas Howell, Jr. entered guilty pleas to Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, Breaking and Entering, and Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell, or Deliver a Schedule II Controlled Substance on Monday morning in Bladen County Superior Court.
Howell was sentenced to a total of 4 1/2 to 7 1/2 years in the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction.
The home invasion charges were based on an incident that occurred on September 7, 2016, at an apartment in Elizabethtown. Howell entered the victim’s home and robbed the victim at gunpoint of cash and a laptop computer. The victim, who was not injured during the robbery, knew Howell and reported the crime immediately after Howell fled from the apartment. Shortly thereafter, warrants were issued for the robbery and breaking and entering offenses and authorities began to search for Howell.
One week later, a vehicle matching the description of a car belonging to Howell was spotted by a Bladen County Sheriff’s Deputy who began to pursue the vehicle. Following a short pursuit, the vehicle pulled over and the driver, who was identified as Howell, was arrested on the outstanding warrants.
During the arrest, officers discovered Opana and Percocet tablets which resulted in the additional drug charge for Howell.