Sampson Independent

Traffic stop leads agents to drug house

A traffic stop Sunday led drug agents to a residence in northern Sampson County Monday, which netted meth manufacturing materials. Three people were ultimately arrested in the round-the-clock investigation, with additional drug trafficking charges pending against the suspect arrested at the home.

On Sunday, agents with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Division who were working street level drug investigations conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle displaying a fictitious registration plate. A consent search revealed items in the back seat of the vehicle “consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine,” authorities said.

The driver, Jonathan Allen McGee, 24, and the passenger, Tabatha Clarine Byrd, 24, were arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of a meth precursor. Both McGee and Byrd were placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $100,000 secured bond.

Through the course of the investigation, SID agents responded to 996 Taylors Chapel Road, Dunn, where they executed a search warrant on Monday.

“Subsequent to the search, items consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine, opiates, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were located and seized,” Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith said.

SID agents arrested Nissy Marie Ragan, 55, for maintaining a dwelling for the manufacture of a controlled substance, five counts of possession of a methamphetamine precursor, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Ragan was placed in the Detention Center, also under $100,000 secured bond.

State Bureau of Investigation agents and those with SID processed the scene, dismantling the lab.

Additional charges are pending, including charges against Ragan that will reportedly include trafficking opiates and manufacturing methamphetamine. Smith said that drug agents have been working in excess of24 hours on the case. More details in the case will likely be forthcoming later this week, officials said.

Three arrested; more charges pending

By Chris Berendt

Managing Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.