Belhaven man charged with opioid trafficking

Published 7:29 pm Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Belhaven man has been arrested and charged with drug trafficking, after a bag of Oxycodone pills was found hidden in his sock.

Charles Alexander Martin, 38, of Belhaven, was charged with four counts of trafficking in opium, two counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, possession with intent to sell and deliver Oxycodone a schedule II controlled substance, maintaining a vehicle used for keeping and selling a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Prior to his arrest, investigators made three purchases of drugs from Martin after they’d received complaints from the public about him selling pills and marijuana, according to Lt. Russell Davenport, head of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit.

“We stopped him after he met with his supplier, and the dog (K9 Elza) alerted on the car,” Davenport said.

Davenport said that, because of the demand, the drug unit is starting to arrest people for selling pain pills who previously limited their drug sales to marijuana.

“It’s all they used to do — they used to smoke and sell weed. Now they see the money made in pills,” Davenport said. “We talk about the opiate epidemic: it just shows that the people making money on the distribution of marijuana are also making money on the distribution of pills.”

Davenport said Martin’s arrest is the drug unit’s effort to battle a nationwide opioid epidemic that has made its way to Beaufort County. As of last week, the county has had 167 overdoses in 2017, though there have been more since Beaufort County Emergency Management Director Carnie Hedgepeth gave that number during a presentation at a recent opioid epidemic forum.

“We’re going to continue, aggressively, to go after, arrest, people that are involved in distribution of drugs — mainly pills and heroin,” Davenport said. “That’s the main thing we’re seeing right now; people overdosing, ruining their lives and their families.”

Martin was held at the Beaufort County Detention Center under a $75,000 bond.