Another day, another bust by the Sampson County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Division, which seized 15 pounds of marijuana, a couple weapons and made two more felony drug arrests following a tip and subsequent traffic stop in the Salemburg area.
On Thursday, SID agents received information about a “large amount of marijuana” at 1600 Lakewood School Road, Salemburg, according to reports from sheriff’s officials. Agents responded to the address and observed two men driving away from the residence in a Pontiac G6.
A traffic stop on the Pontiac was conducted, during which the sheriff’s investigators observed a large box in the back seat and detected an “overwhelming odor of marijuana coming from within the vehicle,” reports stated. The occupants, Dakotah James Luster, 20, and Joseph Otoniel Chavez, 18, both of 1600 Lakewood School Road, were immediately detained and a search was conducted.
That search found that the box contained approximately 15 pounds of “high-grade” marijuana, with a street value of $136,200.
Agents later executed a search warrant at the Lakewood School Road residence and seized two firearms.
Luster and Chavez were arrested and each charged with two counts of trafficking in marijuana, maintaining a dwelling/vehicle for the storage of a controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
No other arrests are expected in the case, sheriff’s officials said.
The two men were placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $160,000 secured bond apiece.
They are just the latest suspects put behind bars following work by Sampson Sheriff’s authorities.
With Thursday’s marijuana seizure and arrests, in little more than a week SID has taken 15 pounds of pot and 3 pounds of meth, having a street value of over $200,000, off the streets, as well as discovered and dismantled two meth labs. Additionally, there has been a total of three firearms and one stolen motorcycle seized.
In all, since Aug. 11, there have been 10 felony drug arrests as part of four busts and an undercover campaign.
Along with the arrests of the two Lakewood School Road boys in the weed case, four others were arrested in connection with two separate meth labs and three more arrested in the 3-pound meth seizure. Sheriff’s authorities were also able to corral the last suspect in “Operation Double Tap,” serving warrants to a Roseboro man on felony marijuana and cocaine charges. That officially closed a chapter that began with waves of arrests and hundreds of felony charges against dozens upon dozens of suspected drug dealers last summer following undercover drug buys a year prior.
Reach staff writer Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.