Some 52 pounds of marijuana was seized and a Sampson County man arrested on a felony trafficking charge Wednesday afternoon during a criminal investigation that led to the discovery of the drugs.
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.
According to Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith, deputies were conducting a criminal investigation at Banegas’ residence when they observed the marijuana in plain view. A search of the residence, he said, turned up approximately 52 pounds of the drug with an estimated street value of $230,000.
In addition to the drugs, three firearms were also discovered.
Agents with Sampson’s Special Investigations unit were called in to assist with the investigation and Banegas was later charged.
During the probe, Smith said, two vehicles and a trailer were seized.
“It was also discovered that one of the seized firearms was reported stolen from the Hope Mills area,” Smith said, noting that an investigation was still ongoing and that more charges were possible.
“These are drugs that will not fall in the hands of our children and weapons that have been removed from the hands of a criminal,” said Sampson Sheriff Jimmy Thornton of the arrest and seizure.