As children went door to door and trunk to trunk Tuesday evening collecting candy and other goodies, one man was having his treats taken away by law enforcement.
Close to 10 pounds of marijuana and hashish was seized following a routine traffic stop Tuesday on Interstate 40, just the latest drug seizure on the main roadway extending across the northeast portion of Sampson County. At about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, deputies with the Sampson County Criminal Interdiction Team stopped a 2007 Honda Civic for a registration violation in the eastbound lane of I-40, near the 358 mile marker in the Faison area.
“During the stop, deputies smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from within the vehicle,” Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith noted.
A search was conducted on the vehicle, resulting in the seizure of 3,450 grams (7.6 pounds) of marijuana, 876 grams (1.93 pounds) of hashish and a firearm.
The driver, Devonte Neshon Royster, 23, of Cardinal Grove Boulevard, Raleigh, has been charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver a Schedule VI controlled substance, maintaining a vehicle for the storage of a controlled substance and carrying a concealed handgun. He was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond.
The Sheriff’s Criminal Interdiction Team has targeted drug trafficking through the county, especially on major thoroughfares. The roughly 16-mile stretch of I-40 is a key segment in running drugs in eastern North Carolina and along the East Coast, evident by the vast number of drug seizures made locally in recent years.
At the end of September, the Criminal Interdiction Team hosted a multi-agency campaign targeting I-40 and U.S. 13, described by sheriff’s officials as “major corridors for drug trafficking” in the county. Deemed “Operation Interception,” the three-day campaign was conducted with the assistance Harnett County, Duplin County and Guilford County sheriff’s offices, as well as Dunn, High Point and Thomasville police departments.
During the operation, there was 5,926 grams (13 pounds) of marijuana seized, as well as 5,000 Xanax pills, 12 Oxycodone and small amounts of cocaine, heroin and meth.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.