Investigation uncovers heroin stored at car dealership

Published 7:41 pm Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A three-agency investigation crossing the Pitt-Beaufort county line ended with trafficking charges for two Greenville men.

Dennis Ray Suggs Sr., 62, and La’Quan Deon Norman, 21, were arrested March 9 after a search of Pecheles Automotive of Greenville turned up 51 grams of heroin, 261 individual doses of heroin, 46 grams of cocaine and 19 grams of crack cocaine. Suggs was employed by Pecheles Automotive, according to Lt. Russell Davenport, head of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office drug unit.

“He was in charge of Pecheles’ clean-up shop. That’s where the drugs were found,” Davenport said.

Davenport said the multi-agency investigation was an expansion of an ongoing BCSO drug unit and Washington Police Department investigation into drugs coming into both Washington and Beaufort County.

“We all worked together because we found out the drugs were going into Pitt County and Beaufort County. Our surveillance led us back to Pitt County,” Davenport said. “No drug dealer knows county lines.”

With the help of the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, all three agencies began to make controlled buys of the drugs, Davenport said.

“We all had to spend some money. All three agencies had to spend some money because of the amount of drugs we were buying,” he said.

From surveillance, they discovered the drugs were hidden at Pecheles. Pecheles employees cooperated with law enforcement and evacuated the building while officers searched for the drugs. Davenport said the evacuation was due to amount of heroin, and the potential that the heroin could be laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid approximately 80 times stronger than morphine. Lethal doses of fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin.

Suggs faces 18 to 24 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 and for the heroin trafficking charge alone. He is also charged with possession with intent to sell/distribute cocaine, possession with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver schedule I controlled substance, possession of firearm by felon, two counts of conspiring to traffic in cocaine and two counts of trafficking in cocaine. Suggs is being held under a $700,000 secured bond.

Norman has been charged with two counts of cocaine trafficking and two counts of cocaine trafficking by transport. He is being held under a $200,000 secured bond.