Former official arrested on drug charges

Published 9:00 pm Friday, December 14, 2012



A traffic stop by narcotics investigators resulted in the arrest of an alleged Beaufort County heroin trafficker.

On Dec. 8, officers with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit arrested Keith Duke Garrett, 49, of 219 Pamlico Drive, Washington.

Garrett has a prior run-in with l aw enforcement, one that occurred when he held public office. On Oct. 1, 1996, he was arrested and charged with felony drug possession, after a search of his vehicle turned up heroin, cocaine and drug paraphernalia. At the time, Garrett was serving as Beaufort County Registrar of Deeds, having been appointed to the position by the Democratic Party after the previous registrar resigned before his elected term expired, according to a former City of Washington official. Garrett resigned from the office after his arrest.

The circumstances of last Saturday’s arrest were similar, according to sheriff’s office investigators.

“We did a traffic stop on him after we received information that he was involved in the distribution of heroin in Beaufort County,” said a spokesman for the drug unit.

Investigators had K-9 Elza, the unit’s drug-detecting dog, with them during the traffic stop at the intersection of Plymouth and West Fifth streets in Washington.

According to the spokesman, K-9 Elza alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle and a search of Garrett yielded a trafficking amount of heroin.

“When we searched him, he had 60 dosage units and it was packaged in wax paper bindles with a stamp,” the spokesman said, adding that a snorting straw was found in the vehicle, as well.

Garrett was charged with level I trafficking in heroin by possession, level I trafficking in heroin by transportation and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was taken to the Beaufort County Detention Center and held under a $25,000 secured bond.