A Kenan Weeks Road man has become the 26th person jailed in connection with a six-month county drug campaign that, so far, has seen the levelling of dozens of felony charges running the gamut, from trafficking in opiates to the sell of cocaine and marijuana.
Monday night, officers working to serve warrants on over 40 people caught up in Operation Candy Crush, took Darin Leon Blankenship Sr., 43, of 836 Kenan Weeks Road, Newton Grove, into custody.
Blankenship was charged with three counts of delivering methamphetamine; two counts selling methamphetamine; and one count possession/sell/distributing an altered gun serial number, all felonies.
He was jailed under a $30,000 bond and is scheduled to make his first appearance in Sampson County District Court on those charges Oct. 25.
Officers noted in arrest reports that 3.90 grams of methamphetamine was seized.
As the number of arrests continue to mount in the Candy Crush campaign, Sheriff Jimmy Thornton continues to stress the importance of community involvement by way of tips and complaints called into the Sheriff’s Department’s office at 592-4141.
Calling Sampson’s drug problems epidemic during an interview about Candy Crush last week, the sheriff continued to reiterate that one solid way of combating the problem comes through those tips. In fact, a release issued last week on the latest drug operation indicated that those tips and complaints were instrumental in helping officers launch Candy Crush.
As he often does, Thornton called residents law enforcement’s good friends, the eyes and ears in a community that help combat not only drug problems but other criminal activity occurring in neighborhoods across Sampson, activities, the sheriff stressed, that often go hand-in-hand.
“I hate to say it, but an addict will take anything that will give them a high, anything they can get their hands on. And that’s what drives the other crimes we see here. It’s alarming and concerning that we have this activity going on in our county, but the driving force for all crime, I believe, remains drugs and the addiction to drugs. It’s that got to have it attitude, and they don’t care what they have to do to get it.”
That’s why campaigns like Candy Crush are so vital, helping officers to get both illegal substances — and those that use and sell them — off the streets.
“We’ve got an epidemic here. We aren’t alone in that; it’s not just Sampson; it’s every county, but it’s still an epidemic, and we have to do everything in our power to fight it. We try every day,” the sheriff said last week.