Joint State and Federal Operation Seizes Kilograms of Drugs, Multiple Firearms, and Arrests Five in Southeastern N.C.
RALEIGH, N.C. – Today, U.S. Attorney Michael Easley, along with federal and local law enforcement, provided information related to ongoing and coordinated efforts to target drug distribution in Sampson and Duplin Counties. Last week, a joint operation took place with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI), the Sampson, Duplin and New Hanover County Sheriffs’ Offices, and the Jacksonville, Goldsboro, and Wilmington Police Departments. A primary objective of this operation was to target suspected armed drug dealers.
As part of the operation, search warrants and arrest warrants were executed at multiple locations in Duplin and Sampson counties and the following items were seized:
Approximately eight pounds of suspected cocaine;
Over four ounces of suspected fentanyl;
Over an ounce of suspected crack cocaine;
Drug packing materials;
Drug distribution materials;
Approximately $10,000 cash; and
Multiple firearms and ammunition.
“Dangerous drugs have taken a terrible toll on our communities,” said Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Division. “Drug traffickers should know they will face the consequences of their actions.”
“Our office is working closely with our state and local partners to get illegal drugs and guns off the streets and put those fueling the drug epidemic behind bars,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “We are using every tool available to make our communities safer.”
Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton stated, “I am thankful for the cooperation of our federal and state partners in combating the drug epidemic. While these seizures don’t solve the problem, they send the message that this activity is not welcomed or tolerated in our community.”
“Drug trafficking too often fuels the violent crime law enforcement is working hard to address,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Bennie Mims. “Disrupting these networks has a major impact on fighting violent gun crime.”
According to court documents, on the same day the search warrants were executed, the following individuals were arrested on federal charges:
Christopher Hill, 42, of Sampson County, distribution of methamphetamine;
Cheri Boyette, 45, of Duplin County, distribution of methamphetamine;
Peyton McBride, 42, of Sampson County distribution of cocaine;
Rashawn Ray McDuffie, 43, of Duplin County, conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine;
Dennis Ray Taylor, 57, of Duplin County, distribution of methamphetamine.
The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com, www.CampusDrugPrevention.gov, and www.dea.gov . Also follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv