Six nabbed in drug sting

Published 12:32 am Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thirty-eight grams of crack cocaine, $500 in U.S. currency, a plastic container and spoon and digital scales containing cocaine residue were all seized by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office narcotics unit Thursday night. The bust ended a month-long investigation. (Contributed Photo/Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office)

Narcotics unit seizes 38 grams of cocaine in Maple Street bust

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office narcotics unit officers said Friday that an undercover investigation has culminated in the seizure of 38 grams of crack cocaine, $500 in U.S. currency, a small amount of marijuana, as well as crack cocaine-manufacturing paraphernalia.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. Thursday night, members of the sheriff’s office conducted a search of 1224 Maple St., Washington. The search resulted in the arrest of six Washington residents: Eric Wilson Toney, 39, a resident of E. 15th St.; Jerrod Omari Carter, 23, of 134 Manual Drive; Bruce Tyrell Scott, 27, of 577 Cherry Run Road; Amos Lee Wiggins, 22, of 1224 Maple St.; Charlene Julisa Holland, 23, of 1224 Maple St.; and Artisha Lynnette Pender, 25, of 901 E. Eighth St.
All six were charged with level-one trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, manufacture of cocaine, maintaining a dwelling to facilitate drug activity, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, and were incarcerated in the Beaufort County Detention Center, each under a $150,000 secured bond set by Magistrate David Curtis, with the exception of Toney, whose bond was set at $300,000. Toney faces pending charges in Pitt County — trafficking in cocaine by possession and trafficking in cocaine by transport — for an April 29, 2011, arrest.

A representative from the sheriff’s office narcotics unit said the Thursday night arrests followed a month-long investigation in which undercover officers made controlled purchases of crack cocaine at a residence in the Quail Ridge apartment complex. Through officer surveillance and the undercover drug buys, they were able to obtain a search warrant and a 12-person team—drug unit officers, members of the tactical response team, and patrol deputies—delivered the warrant to 1224 Maple Street. After initial contact, officers stationed outside prevented the six people inside the house from escaping through the home’s front entrance.

In addition to the drugs and money, the bust turned up plastic containers and spoons used to turn powder cocaine into crack cocaine and digital scales containing cocaine residue.

“That’s what’s used to weigh controlled substances for retail whether it’s marijuana, cocaine, or crack,” said a narcotics unit officer.

The 38 grams of crack cocaine found at the scene is enough evidence for a minimum mandatory maximum sentence in prison for each of the suspects, the officer said.