Barnhardt pleads guilty to drug charges

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 5, 2015

One of the three arrested in an Enochville drug family pled guilty to drug charges Thursday.

Larry Scott Barnhardt, 44, of 505 Spring Garden Avenue was arrested in October, along with his father Billy Joe Barnhardt Sr., 81, and brother Billy Joe Barnhardt Jr., 45, for possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a one pot methamphetamine lab out of a shed in the back yard.

On Oct. 14, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office sent a Special Response Team to the Barnhardt’s Enochville home after they received tips that residents were using and distributing heroin, methamphetamine and prescription narcotics. They also got a tip that one of the residents, a convicted felon, had a firearm.

During the search, a loaded .22 revolver and ammunition and precursor chemicals for making methamphetamine were discovered in Larry’s bedroom. Larry Barnhardt was convicted of felony trafficking opium or heroin in Iredell County in 2014 and of attempting to traffick opium or heroin in Rowan County in 2014. He has also been convicted of assault, simple possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and discharging a firearm.

Larry Barnhardt was charged by the Sheriff’s Office with possession of a firearm by a felon, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of precursor materials used to manufacture methamphetamine, trafficking 28 grams or more of opium by possession, conspiracy to traffick 28 grams or more of opium by possession, and felony maintaining a dwelling for keeping and selling controlled substances.

Larry faced trial Thursday in Superior Court of Rowan County. He pleaded guilty to attempted manufacture of methamphetamine, conspiracy to traffick heroin, maintaining a dwelling for keeping and selling controlled substances, two counts of possession of methamphetamine precursor with the intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

He was sentenced to 70 to 96 months in jail and recommended to the DART program for chemical dependency. His father and brother remain in jail under a $250,000 and $200,000 secured bond.