Trafficking probe nets arrests

By: By Chris Berendt - cberendt@clintonnc.com

A drug complaint that focused in on a Salemburg-area residence was able to see a second suspect taking into custody Monday on methamphetamine trafficking charges following the arrest of a teenager last month.

Agents with the Special Investigations Division (SID) initially conducted a search warrant on Nov. 9 at 231 Corinth Church Road, Salemburg, driven by a complaint that was subsequently investigated by SID agents. During the search, 298 grams (0.66 pounds) of meth and 94 grams (0.2 pounds) of marijuana were located inside the home, sheriff’s officials said.

That same day, agents arrested Joaquin Rangel, 18, of the Corinth Church Road address, and charged him with maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance, trafficking methamphetamine and possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana.

Rangel was given a $50,000 secured bond.

Information on Rangel’s arrest was held close to the vest as SID probed for further information. Less than two weeks later, on Nov. 22, SID agents obtained warrants on Julio Antonio Najera, 23, also of 231 Corinth Church Road, in connection with the investigation.

They were unable to locate him in recent weeks, however Najera was taken into custody at the Corinth Church Road home Monday.

Najera has been charged with four counts of trafficking methamphetamine, three counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, two counts of maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance and two counts of drug paraphernalia.

He was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $175,000 secured bond.

In recent weeks, sheriff’s officials have touted the work of SID as well as the importance of information from the community. All calls are followed up, they said.

“That’s why phone calls are so important,” Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith has stated. “Citizens of this county are very aggressive and proactive in dealing with drug activity.”

“There’s not a day that passes that someone doesn’t call me about drug activity going on,” Sheriff Jimmy Thornton added. “We check them all out. That’s benefited us 10-fold. The people like seeing us make these drug arrests. They have children or grandchildren impacted by it.”

Rangel
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Joaquin-Rangel.jpgRangel

Najera
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Najera.jpgNajera
Tip leads to charges on two young Clinton residents

By Chris Berendt

cberendt@clintonnc.com

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.