Two former Appalachian State University student were sentenced to federal prison after being convicted for their role in an illegal drug ring that brought in more than $1.5 million in sales across three different universities.
Kyle Parris Beckner, of Boone, and Devin James McDonald, of Kill Devil Hills, entered guilty pleas in February for their roles in the drug ring. Both were students at Appalachian State.
Beckner pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute LSD, and McDonald pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
U.S. District Judge William Osteen sentenced Beckner to 18 months in federal prison, Lynne Klauer, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina, said Friday. The sentencing took place Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Greensboro. After his release, Beckner will be on supervised release for 18 months.
Chad Axford, Beckner’s attorney, could not be reached for comment on Friday.
Osteen sentenced McDonald on Sept. 1 to two years in federal prison. He will be on supervised release for three years.
Beckner is accused of selling 1,000 doses of LSD to an informant who was also an Appalachian State student and member of the Delta Chi fraternity. Beckner is alleged to have sold the LSD doses for $3,000 in the parking lot of a Chapel Hill restaurant. Investigators said that, in October 2019, they bought an ounce of cocaine from McDonald after McDonald was identified by the informant as someone who distributed cocaine to other ASU students.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the alleged drug sales involved members of several fraternities at Appalachian State, Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill. The Justice Department alleged that McDonald and 19 other defendants funneled more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana, several hundred kilograms of cocaine and large quantities of other drugs to the three college campuses. Court documents allege that the defendants shipped cocaine from California using the U.S. Postal Service and transported marijuana by vehicles.
The defendants were also accused of shipping money from the illegal drug sales through the postal service. About $1.3 million in drug money changed hands through money orders, Western Union and mobile payment applications, the Justice Department alleged.