Traffic stop lands 1 in jail

Sherry Matthews Editor

March 20, 2014

A traffic stop in the Clinton city limits turned up more than a motor vehicle violation Wednesday afternoon and sent a Chapel Hill man to the local detention center on multiple drug-related charges.

Kamari Marsh, 24, of 107 Bright Sun Place, Chapel Hill, is charged with possession of cocaine, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance (Hydrocodone), both felonies, and a probation and parole violation.

He was the passenger in a car driven by Allison Brooks, 27, of 101 Betty St., Clinton. Brooks was stopped by a Sampson County Criminal Interdiction Team deputy Wednesday afternoon on Chestnutt Street near Fayetteville Street for what sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith called a traffic violation.

Smith said during the stop the deputy detected the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle, a reason to do what officers refer to as a probable cause search. During the search, .5 grams of marijuana was discovered in the driver’s possession and .4 grams of cocaine and a Hydrocodone pill were found in Marsh’s possession, leading to the charges.

Brooks was charged with simple possession of marijuana, placed under a $500 secured bond and released.

Marsh remained in jail Thursday afternoon under a $30,000 secured bond for the drug charges and a hold was placed on him, Smith said, for the probation violation.

Smith called the arrest a good one, noting that traffic stops sometimes lead to far more serious crimes.

“Even the smallest of motor vehicle violations oftentimes yield larger criminal activity. These officers’ proactive efforts paid off,” the lieutenant stressed.

The drug charges were the second drug-related charges to be leveled during what appeared to be a busy day for county law enforcement Wednesday.

Also that afternoon, officers seized 52 pounds of marijuana from a Scarlet Lane residence, arresting one. Osely Adonay Ruiz Banegas, 24, of 214 Scarlet Lane, was charged with trafficking marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for the sale of marijuana and possession of a stolen firearm, all felonies. The marijuana had a street value of $230,000.