Meth arrests tie into past investigation

Published 7:15 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Two Washington men have been charged with trafficking in methamphetamine.

Tuesday, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested Julian Cesar Leyva-Medina, 40, of Walton Lane; Iban Martinez, 22, also of 211 Walton Lane, was arrested earlier in the month on Feb. 8.

According to officials, these latest arrests tie into Beaufort County’s largest meth bust, made in July 2016, when the narcotics unit seized 1.6 pounds of meth — a street value of more than $80,000 — along with 1.5 pounds of marijuana during another Walton Lane bust.

“They were just two more people involved in it,” said Lt. Russell Davenport, head of the sheriff’s office drug unit.

Davenport said the drug unit is setting its sights on higher level drug dealers, with the intention of stopping the flow of drugs into the county.

“We’re targeting bigger people, mid-level drug dealers, of course, so we’re trying to get more drugs off the streets and send people to prison,” Davenport said. “So those investigations take longer than other investigations.”

A trafficking amount of meth, manufactured outside the country, was seized during the latest drug bust, Davenport said.

“This is not your ‘mom and pop’ stuff that’s cooked in Beaufort County. This is meth that’s been imported from Mexico to here. We’re talking more crystal meth than what’s cooked around here, which we call ‘crank.’” Davenport said.

Davenport said the drug unit is regularly assisted in this type of drug bust by neighbors who often offer their yards for parking surveillance vehicles and even their houses where investigators can set up surveillance — it was complaints from neighbors in the trailer park off of Market Street Extension that prompted the investigation.

“You know, if we all work together, we can achieve more — and it’s working out,” Davenport said.

Martinez and Leyva-Medina were charged with two counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, conspiracy to traffic in methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, conspiracy to possess with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both remain confined in the Beaufort County Detention Center — Martinez, under a $600,500 bond; Leyva-Medina, under a $630,000 bond.

“Both have ties to other states, so they’re definitely a flight risk,” Davenport said, explaining why the bonds were set higher than for other drug arrests.