Joint drug operation nets several arrests

By: Staff report

ELIZABETHTOWN — Sheriff Jim McVicker announced the arrest of several drug dealers following a joint investigation and search warrants at two different locations last week.

“We have been working jointly with several agencies including the Drug Enforcement Agency, Alcohol Law Enforcement, Elizabethtown and White Lake Police Departments and the Robeson County Sheriff’s office,” said McVicker.

“These joint efforts allow us to utilize assets and officers from several agencies which makes our enforcement efforts a joint venture that greatly benefits smaller agencies such as ours,” he added. “It increases our manpower and is not as big a drain on our budget. We are working harder and smarter to curb illegal drugs in the county.”

On Friday, March 16, officers executed a search warrant at 620 McLeod St., Apartment 19B, in Elizabethtown following a month-long undercover investigation that lead to several undercover buys and culminated in a search warrant and warrants for arrest for one area drug dealer.

Arrested was Houston Junius Smith, 26, of Elizabethtown. Smith was charged with possession of cocaine; possession with intent to manufacture, sell, deliver cocaine; maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of selling controlled substances; manufacturing Schedule II controlled substance (cocaine); possession of marijuana; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of adulterants; and felony flee to elude arrest.

Smith was booked into the Bladen County Detention Center on a $53,000 secured bond. He is also facing more narcotics charges and probation violation charges.

Also arrested was Jasmine Bryant, 26, of Elizabethtown. Bryant was charged with possession of marijuana, and maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of selling controlled substances. Bryant was issued a citation and released at the scene.

A second search was executed on Friday, March 16, at 706 Tobermory Road in Fayetteville. Narcotics agents seized heroin, marijuana, paraphernalia and U.S. Currency from this location.

Arrested and charged was Nancy Cain Pruett, 52, of Fayetteville. She was charged with trafficking heroin; possession of heroin; possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin; possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver marijuana; manufacturing heroin; maintaining a dwelling for selling heroin; manufacturingheroin, simple possession of cocaine; simple possession Schedule IV narcotics (prescription medication); and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Pruett was held under a $1,012,500 secured bond. She is the first heroin dealer in Bladen County to receive a $1 million bond following the announcement by the District Attorneys Office of their new policy for heroin dealers.

Also charged was Tara Leigh Atkinson of Fayetteville. Atkinson was charged with possession of heroin; possession with intent to manufacture, seel and deliver heroin; maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of selling controlled substances; possession of marijuana; possession of adulterants; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Atkinson was placed under a $257,000 secured bond and is also facing a probation violation charge.

“We are glad we have these individuals off the streets and, in partnership with the District Attorney’s Office, we hope to keep them off for a long time,” said McVicker.

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Staff report