Sunrise drug raid nets 14 arrests

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 27, 2003

WINTON – While the vast majority of Hertford County citizens were still snug and warm in their beds here yesterday (Monday) morning, others were being rousted from their sleep during a drug sweep.

As the sun was attempting to make its first peek through broken cloud cover, law enforcement officers from Hertford and Bertie counties were making their way to several residences in the Ahoskie and Murfreesboro areas. Armed with arrest and search warrants, the local lawmen wound-up placing 14 alleged drug dealers behind bars while another 11 are being sought.

The arrests came as a result of a six-month undercover operation conducted by the Roanoke-Chowan Narcotics Task Force (RCNTF) in conjunction with assistance from the Ahoskie, Aulander, Murfreesboro and Winton police departments and the Hertford County Department of Community Corrections.

&uot;This was a campaign aimed primarily at street level dealers,&uot; said RCNTF Commander Frank Timberlake. &uot;(RCNTF) agent Kenny Gilliam performed the majority of the undercover work. His efforts led to a full force of officers from several local law enforcement agencies coming together as one to work for the betterment of all in Hertford County.&uot;

The 14 arrested face a combined 66 drug charges as well as bond that totals over $1 million. The majority of that bond ($660,000) was levied against five individuals.

Henry Vann Mitchell, 24, of Ahoskie – three counts of possession with intent to sale and deliver crack cocaine, three counts of sale of crack cocaine, two counts of conspiracy to sell and deliver crack cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine. He is being held under a $150,000 bond.

Eric Beale, 24, of Murfreesboro is jailed under a $150,000 bond for three counts each of possession with intent to sale and deliver crack cocaine and sale of crack cocaine.

Travis Lamont Holloman, 21, of Murfreesboro – seven counts each of possession with intent to sale and deliver crack cocaine and sale of crack cocaine. Bond was set at $140,000.

Darrell Winborne, 23, of Ahoskie – three counts each of possession with intent to sale and deliver crack cocaine and sale of crack cocaine in addition to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bond was set at $120,000.

Michael Williams, 45, of Murfreesboro is held under a $100,000 bond on two counts each of possession with intent to sale and deliver crack cocaine and sale of crack cocaine.

Each of the remaining nine individuals arrested were charged (counts listed in parenthesis) with possession with intent to sale and deliver crack cocaine and sale of crack cocaine:

Eugene Eason, 19, of Murfreesboro (3 counts each). Bond – $90,000.

Terry Pitt, 33, of Ahoskie (2 counts each). Bond – $60,000.

Charles Ray Everette, 39, of Murfreesboro (2 counts each). Bond – $60,000.

Darren Keith Anthony, 32, of Ahoskie (2 counts each). Bond – $50,000.

Trevelle Walton, 30, of Murfreesboro (1 count each). Bond – $35,000.

Melvin Moore, 26, of Murfreesboro (1 count each). Bond – $30,000.

Ridgemon Lane, 39, of Ahoskie (1 count each). Bond – $30,000.

Antonio L. Holloman, 19, of Murfreesboro (1 count each). Bond – $20,000.

Kevan Deloatch, 42, of Ahoskie (1 count each). Bond – $20,000.

All 14 are scheduled to make their first appearances today (Tuesday) in Hertford County District Court.

&uot;We will find the remaining 11 individuals,&uot; stressed Timberlake. &uot;It’s only a matter of time before they surface. There will be more arrests made.&uot;

Timberlake praised the dedication of several law enforcement officers in making Monday morning’s raid such a big success.

&uot;(RCNTF Agent) Kenny Gilliam and my assistant commander, Jimmy Asbell, did their homework on these arrests,&uot; stated Timberlake. &uot;There were hours upon hours, days upon days that they spent behind the scenes making sure that citizen complaints were followed-up on as well as conducting surveillance on their own.&uot;

However, Timberlake said that an undercover operation of this magnitude would have been impossible for the RCNTF to go it alone.

&uot;My thanks goes out to all involved in this successful operation,&uot; he said. &uot;That’s what I like about working with all of these officers – we all share a common bond and that’s to put our best foot forward when it comes to getting this poison off the streets. We will continue to go after drug dealers, no matter how big or how small.&uot;

The lawmen involved in Monday morning’s raid first staged at the Hertford County Courthouse where Asbell went down a point-by-point checklist before dividing the group into five-member teams. Those teams were handed the paperwork and warrant(s) on at least one of the 25 targeted names.

&uot;This was a job well done from start to finish,&uot; acknowledged Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan. &uot;I commend the Task Force and all those agencies that took part in making this day a huge success. Working with these guys is great. I’ll stack all our law enforcement agencies here in the county against anyone in the state.&uot;

Local police chiefs Steve Hoggard (Ahoskie) and Darrell Rowe (Murfreesboro) were also thankful of the high level of cooperation that exists between the lawmen in Hertford County.

&uot;I think anyone in law enforcement could look with envy at the way we operate here in Hertford County,&uot; noted Hoggard. &uot;I look at us as one, big police department. The beneficiaries of that are the citizens of Hertford County. They have many dedicated law enforcement officers making each and every attempt to keep the peace here in our county.&uot;

Chief Rowe stated, &uot;What you saw unfold early Monday morning was a direct indication of how we work together so well. Everyone involved worked so tirelessly on this operation. And it takes a lot of work. Often times, citizens will think that drug arrests happen as a result of an overnight investigation. That’s not usually the case. To round-up as many as we did on Monday morning takes months and months of legwork.&uot;

Sheriff Vaughan closed by saying that this is not the end, or even close to it, in regards to cleaning the county of illegal drug trafficking.

&uot;Hopefully, the arrests we made on Monday morning, as well as the ones that are pending, will send a message to those that choose to continue to make money illegally from the sale of narcotics that this type of environment will not be tolerated in Hertford County. I will promise that as long as we have the services of such dedicated law enforcement officers in this county, we will continue to send that message loud and clear.&uot;