A marijuana charge against Marie Holmes, a North Carolina Powerball winner, has put this big winner back in the news for all the wrong reasons. The mother of four, who won a massive $188 million payout, was arrested by police for drug possession. According to investigators, Holmes was using her money to buy marijuana, and also bailed a known gang member – her boyfriend – out of jail.
Writes local news station WNCN: “The single mother out of Brunswick County who won $188 million in February from a winning Powerball ticket, was arrested at her home Thursday night on drug charges. Three other arrests were also made when police came to the house on Boverie Street in Shallotte.”
The 26-year-old mother of four was one of three winners in February to split a jackpot of $564 million. On Thursday, police showed up at her home in Brunswick County to arrest Lamarr McDow, Holmes boyfriend and the father of at least some of her children.
“Believe it or not, Holmes failed to purchase a new house and is still living in the trailer with multiple roommates, and one of them is the reason for her headache,” writes the SpreadIt.
Police claim McDow is a known drug pusher and gangbanger; they arrested him for violating the terms of his pre-trial bond release. Inside the trailer, police found marijuana. Holmes was charged with simple possession. McDow has a criminal history that includes assault on a female and several counts of drug possession that date back over the last fifteen years.
Holmes posted the bond to get McDow, who goes by the nickname “Hotsauce,” out of jail – a whopping $3 million – after he was incarcerated last November on charges of trafficking heroin. Police found 1,600 bags of heroin in McDown’s possession.
Two other men who were in the Holmes’ trailer – Danell Lamont McNeil, 31, and Damarius Dontrell Simmons, 21 – were also charged with marijuana possession. A fourth man in the home was cited for resisting a police officer.
Three of Holmes’ children – ages four, five and seven – were also in the trailer at the time of the arrests. A nine-month-old was not home. Holmes’ seven year old suffers from cerebral palsy.
After executing the search warrant, Police only found a small amount of marijuana – less than a half-ounce – but they also found related drug paraphernalia and an unregistered firearm.
When Holmes won the Powerball she said she planned to donate “millions” to her church and set aside college funds for each of her four children.
The Daily Mail spoke of a difficult life Holmes had before becoming a millionaire: “Holmes sacrificed her education to care for her four children and took minimum wage jobs to provide for her family. With little or no help from the fathers of her four young children, she has struggled financially for most of her adult life…Holmes has also seen her own father repeatedly jailed and her cousin shot and left paralyzed after a home invasion.”
Family members painted a different picture of Holmes than the company she keeps.
“Marie is very grounded and she will know what to do with all that money,” said her uncle William Bryant at the time she won the lottery – the third largest in Powerball history. “I’m sure she will want to buy a new home for herself and her kids, but I can’t see any extravagant purchases. She’s a nice girl who loves her family and loves her church.”
Said Holmes when she collected her winnings: “Winning still doesn’t feel real. It’s not going to change the person that I am, but it’s going to change our situation. It’s going to be very fortunate. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunities this has created for my family.”
Holmes – who at one time had concurrent jobs at both McDonald’s and Walmart – said she would never have to struggle again.
“I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I seen the ticket. I don’t have to worry about the word ‘struggle’ no more, and neither do they,” she explained, referring to her children. “I just want them to understand that money doesn’t change you, but it can help you, so they don’t have to worry about debt, none of that. They can go to college; they don’t have to worry about nothing. And I’m glad that I can do that for them.”
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