By VAN HOLLAND
A joint operation Friday between the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Department and Tarboro Police Department's Drug Task Forces landed officers at a residence performing a job different from the one for which they had been trained.
And it was a smelly task.
WIth a search warrant in-hand, officers were acting on a tip they received from a concerned citizen about possible drug activity at 265 Ellis Lane.
Little did the officers know, they were going to have to do some digging to find what they came after. After searching the residence, officers wound up in the yard, where they did some digging before sawing through a sewer line.
When officers arrived, they observed 36-year old David Allen Coley, of Rt. 2 Box 343, Pinetops, leaving the yard. As they stopped Coley, two other suspects ran back inside the house with officers on their trail. One of the suspects was able to get to the bathroom and flush the drugs down the toilet, but that didn't impede officers from seizing the evidence.
Some officers proceeded to search Coley's truck while others began cutting the sewer line to recover the heroin and cocaine that had just been flushed.
As officers searched the truck, they found 10 bags of heroin, assorted narcotic pills and a rifle.
And as the surgery on the sewer line concluded, they found what they had come for — bags of heroin and cocaine.
Officers charged Coley with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was jailed under a $5,000 secured bond.
Officers also charged two suspects who lived at the residence. Angela Ramsey Hopkins, 38, was charged with maintaining a dwelling for storage of drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia and jailed under a $5,000 secured bond. Also 18-year old Christopher Trey Ramsey was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaing a dwelling for storage of drugs. He was jailed under a $10,000 secured bond.
Officers also charged 21-year old Brandon Lee Claiborne, of 5381 Ridgeview Dr., Nashville, with possession of heroin, possession with the intent to sell and deliver heroin and maintaing a dwelling for the storage of drugs. He was jailed under a $10,000 secured bond.
"Citizens complaints were crucial in starting the investigation into this matter," Sheriff James Knight said. "I want to thank each of the concerned citizens who called about this residence and reported it."
Knight also thanked the Tarboro Police Department for assisting in the investigation and executing the search warrant.
Persons with information about illegal drug activity can call the sheriff's department at 641-7911 or the Tarboro Police Department at 641-4247.