New Hanover County man charged with death by distribution following Rocky Point fentanyl death

Grayson Lancaster has been charged with death by distribution.
Published: Oct. 12, 2023 at 8:31 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2023 at 3:16 PM EDT
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ROCKY POINT, N.C. (WECT) - The Pender County Sheriff’s Office released details on Thursday, Oct. 12, concerning the arrest of a New Hanover County man following an investigation into the death of 32-year-old Justin Barnes.

“On September 19, 2022, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a death at an address in Rocky Point. Law Enforcement and EMS responded to the address and located 32-year-old Justin Barnes deceased. An autopsy was conducted which showed his death was the result of Fentanyl Toxicity,” the sheriff’s office release states.

According to the announcement, 30-year-old Grayson Kyle Lancaster was arrested on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

“The investigation showed Grayson Kyle Lancaster, a 30-year-old resident of New Hanover County, sold the fentanyl-laced narcotics to Mr. Barnes the day of his death,” the release explains. “Mr. Lancaster has been charged with felony Death by Distribution.”

As of Thursday morning, Lancaster’s bond is set at $1 million.

“Agencies to include New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Carolina Beach Police Department along with the Wilmington Police Department assisted in this investigation. During these types of investigations, the sheriff’s office works closely with the District Attorney’s Office throughout the investigation.”

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Pender County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 259-1212 and speak with Det. Short or Det. Lane.