Lawmen make ‘significant’ drug arrest

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 15, 2003

AHOSKIE – Hailed by local law enforcement agencies as a &uot;significant drug arrest,&uot; a Powellsville man is behind bars in the Hertford County Jail under a $300,000 secured bond following a narcotics investigation that spanned two counties.

Raymond St. Joseph Haughton, 40, of 121 Faison Street, Powellsville was taken into custody on Friday in Ahoskie. There, a combined surveillance effort between the Ahoskie Police Department (APD) and the Roanoke-Chowan Narcotics Task Force (RCNTF) proved successful when Haughton was nabbed in the area of First and Catherine streets.

Haughton attempted to flee the law officers, but was caught following a brief foot chase.

&uot;During that chase, the suspect tossed what was later discovered to be 10 hits of crack cocaine,&uot; said Jimmy Asbell, RCNTF Assistant Commander.

In conjunction with that incident, a search warrant was obtained and served on Haughton’s residence in Powellsville. There, members of the APD, RCNTF and Bertie County Sheriff’s Office discovered drugs, guns and cash. Taken for evidence were approximately 60 grams of crack cocaine, 12 grams of marijuana, scales, packaging material, an unregistered .357 magnum pistol, a stolen .38 caliber handgun and over $6,000 in cash.

In Bertie County, Haughton was charged with trafficking cocaine, possession with intent to sale and deliver cocaine and marijuana, maintaining a dwelling to store a controlled substance and possession of a stolen firearm.

Also arrested at the residence was Chimere Ratisha Riddick, 24, of the same address. She was charged with maintaining a dwelling to store a controlled substance and was placed in Bertie-Martin Regional Jail under a $5,000 secured bond.

In addition, two vehicles were seized from 121 Faison Street – a 1997 Chevrolet and a 1996 Infiniti.

&uot;The arrest of Mr. Haughton is a perfect example of why we need the RCNTF here in our area,&uot; said Hoggard. &uot;Because they are a multi-jurisdictional organization, they are able to work with several law enforcement offices at one time. Their skills to expertly coordinate a two-county drug arrest such as this is not only a great benefit to us as law enforcement officers, but is of great benefit to all the citizens of the jurisdictions they serve.&uot;

Frank Timberlake, RCNTF Commander, stated that due to the diligence of the surveillance team – Asbell and APD Detective Sgt. Troy Fitzhugh – Haughton was, &uot;caught with a lot of goods in his possession.&uot;

&uot;With the information we had on Mr. Haughton, either we, the Ahoskie Police or the Bertie County Sheriff could have gone out basically at any time and made a quick arrest,&uot; stressed Timberlake. &uot;However, we knew that Mr. Haughton played a major role in the drug traffic between the two counties. Therefore, to have him permanently removed from that role, we had to wait until just the right time to catch him with a lot of illegal narcotics.&uot;

Timberlake continued, &uot;At the time he is prosecuted in a court of law, it’s because of the patience demonstrated in this particular case that will hopefully lead to him serving a substantial sentence in jail.&uot;

The RCNTF Commander also stated that he is aware of other drug dealers here in the Roanoke-Chowan area and he promised his organization, with the help of county and municipal agencies, will continue to work those cases and make arrests. He urged all local citizens to continue to call with any and all information concerning illegal drugs in their communities.

&uot;Citizen involvement is the key in all of this,&uot; said Bertie Sheriff Greg Atkins. &uot;We appreciate the information received from citizens. That shows us that they want these drug dealers out of their communities just as badly as we do.&uot;