Meth charges modified after tests negative

By: By Chris Berendt -

A Clinton man who received felony drug charges in connection with an investigation by Sampson County Sheriff’s authorities has had those charges modified, and his bond decreased, after lab results on 2.3 grams of suspected meth revealed it was a “counterfeit controlled substance,” authorities said.

Adrian David Merritt, 26, of 3487 Hobbton Hwy., Clinton, has been charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver a counterfeit controlled substance and selling and delivering a counterfeit controlled substance. He was given $10,000 secured bond for the charges.

“He was arrested as part of the campaign for sell (and) delivery of meth and, after the lab results were returned, the charge was amended to reflect the current charges,” Lt. Marcus Smith, who stopped short of saying that the original charges have been thrown out. “I can only say that the original charges were for meth, but after the lab results yielded that the substance seized was not meth, then they were modified to account for the counterfeit controlled substance charge.”

The new charges were served at the Sheriff’s Office on Friday, according to reports released Monday.

Merritt, one of the dozens arrested as part of a Sheriff’s Special Investigations Division probe, was initially charged with selling methamphetamine, delivering methamphetamine and possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver methamphetamine. More than 40 people have been taken into custody as part of the SID campaign, deemed a yearlong undercover operation, but none since the end of July.

The original warrants against Merritt were issued July 11, the same day arrests began in the SID campaign. He was arrested at his residence and placed under $75,000 secured bond for those offenses before Friday’s modification. Those original charges were still listed in sheriff’s records on Monday, but there was no bond amount assigned to them.


By Chris Berendt

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.