Father, son charged in Whichards Beach drug bust

Published 8:04 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A father and son in Chocowinity were arrested Monday on charges related to meth, meds and marijuana.

Investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit arrested Chocowinity residents Kameron Sapsford, 31, and his father, Samuel Sapsford, 59, after a search of the son’s vehicle and the men’s residence turned up the amphetamine Adderall, anti-anxiety medication Alzoprolam, 15 marijuana plants and the makings of methamphetamine, according to a drug unit press release.

Lt. Russell Davenport, head of the drug unit, said prior to the traffic stop that led to the arrests, investigators learned the Sapsfords were buying unusual amounts of pseudoephedrine from local pharmacies. Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant, but because it is a key ingredient in making meth, it’s kept behind pharmacy counters and is closely monitored through NPLEx, a national registry that tracks who is buying the drug and how much is being purchased. According to the press release, while having Kameron Sapsford under surveillance, investigators witnessed him buying other meth ingredients: lithium batteries and petroleum-based organic solvents, among them.

Kameron Sapsford was charged with possession of methamphetamine precursor, manufacture marijuana, possession of Alprazolam a schedule IV controlled substance and possession of Adderall a schedule II controlled substance; Samuel Sapsford, with possession of methamphetamine precursor, manufacture marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Davenport said the drug unit investigators view the arrests as a success on their books.

“As long as we can stop them from cooking meth, the mission is complete. Especially in that neighborhood — there are a lot of houses along there,” Davenport said.

He said the house where the two men live is on Whichards Beach Road, and, in addition to being closely surrounded by other houses, it sits alongside a canal. The process of making and/or smoking meth is highly toxic and can contaminate surfaces with caustic ingredients such as chemicals in solvents and paint thinners, as well as ether, phosphorous and anhydrous ammonia. Though investigators found precursors to making meth at the residence, they found no active lab and no indication as to where materials previously used had been disposed.

“They’ve been making meth; we just didn’t catch them in the act,” Davenport said. “All the stuff had been disposed of.”

He credited neighbors for alerting drug investigators to suspicious activity at the house and the barn at the back of property.

“They were actually leasing the house and took the barn out back and converted one end of it to an indoor grow and started growing (marijuana) plants,” Davenport said.

Davenport said both the Sapsfords recently moved to Beaufort County from Florida, and the younger Sapsford has a prior history with drugs.

“We found evidence in his phone that (Kameron Sapsford) was involved in meth. He’s actually wanted out of Florida,” Davenport said.

The Sapsfords were confined in the Beaufort County Detention Center: Kameron Sapsford, with a $50,000 bond, and Samuel Sapsford, under a $25,000 bond. While there is a warrant for Kameron Sapsford’s arrest in Florida, Davenport said it was unlikely he would be extradited.