Narcotics arrests increasing

By: Contributed

ELIZABETHTOWN — Bladen County Sheriff James McVicker said recently that his office has experienced a sharp increase in the reported sale of heroin in the county, as it becomes increasingly difficult for addicts to purchase prescription opioids.

“We have seen a spike in the number of people we are arresting for heroin, meth and cocaine sales,” said McVicker. “People are turning to an alternative source to get their high, now that prescription drugs are not so readily available in the area. We also expect to see an increase in the distribution of crystal methamphetamine and cocaine for the same reason.”

McVicker said some addicts are going to meth due to the increased use of fentanyl by dealers to cut their heroin, which causes more overdoses and deaths.

“It is a vicious cycle,” the Sheriff noted.

Arrested on June 24 were Mary Alice Bullock 44, of 102 Lennon Drive, Bladenboro.Bullock’s bond was set at $15,000. She was charged with one count of Sell/Deliver Schedule III Controlled Substances (Suboxone) and one count of Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule III Controlled Substances (Suboxone).

Also arrested was Dustin Lee Keisler, 32, of 48 Rackley’s Place, Elizabethtown. Keisler was charged with one count of Sell/Deliver Cocaine, one count of Conspire to Sell/Deliver Cocaine, one count of Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Cocaine, one count of Manufacture Cocaine, and one count of Felony Possession of Cocaine. Keisler’s bond was set at $60,000. The defendant was previously arrested on July 17, 2018 and held under a $100,000 bond for selling heroin.

Narcotics Agents also arrested another Elizabethtown area man on July 25 for the sale of cocaine. Agents arrested Genesis Lee Whitted, 56, of 75 Florence Drive, Elizabethtown. Whitted’s bond was set at $800,000 after he was charged with the following offenses: one count of Sell/Deliver Cocaine, one count of Conspire to Sell/Deliver Cocaine, one count of Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Cocaine, one count of Manufacture Cocaine, and one count of Felony Possession of Cocaine.

The Narcotics Unit and K-9 Unit also worked in the Bladenboro area on July 25, 2018. Multiple individuals were cited, including:

— Lorenzo White, of Fayetteville, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Cited and released.

— Kelly Renee Deaver, of Bladenboro, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia . Cited and released.

— Joseph Allen Banner Jr., of Bladenboro, was charged with driving while license revoked. Cited and released.

All of the investigations originated from citizen complaints, McVicker noted.

“Our citizens are our eyes and ears in the community,” he stated. “When they call us with reports of suspicious activity, we always follow up on it, and many times it leads to arrests and seizures of drugs, money and weapons.”

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Contributed