Drugs stashed in bush at courthouse

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 29, 2003

WINTON – An Ahoskie man is behind bars here in the Hertford County Jail and a Winton resident is being sought in connection with over an ounce of cocaine that was discovered Dec. 21 in a bush located just outside the Hertford County Courthouse.

Ryan Devon Bowser, 22, of 111 South Rhue Street, Ahoskie, is jailed under a $60,000 bond for the role he played in the case. Meanwhile, warrants have been drawn for the arrest of Anthony Bishop, 25, of Winton. He was not in custody as of R-C News-Herald presstime last night (Monday).

Bowser faces charges of trafficking in cocaine by possession, possession with intent to sale and deliver cocaine and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, all felonies. Once in custody, Bishop will face the same charges.

The case against the two men developed after Hertford County Probation Officer Alan Archer passed along information concerning the location of illegal drugs in the courthouse bush.

Acting upon that information, Winton Police Officer David Griffin was joined by Roanoke-Chowan Narcotics Task Force Commander Frank Timberlake and several Hertford County Sheriff’s deputies in setting up surveillance in an around the courthouse area. Shortly past sunset on Dec. 21, the lawmen observed a vehicle that stopped in an area close to the bush. Bowser exited the vehicle and walked directly to the bush, reaching his hand inside in an attempt to retrieve the drugs.

&uot;It was at that time that we made our presence known,&uot; said Timberlake. &uot;We were able to take Mr. Bowser into custody, but the vehicle, with two other occupants, fled the scene.&uot;

Timberlake said that further investigation as well as earlier observations made by a law enforcement official led to the warrants being drawn against Bishop.

The Task Force Commander said that inside the bush was one bag containing 44 individual packets of crack cocaine, ready for sell, and another bag with over one-half ounce of bulk crack cocaine.

&uot;We are elated to get this quantity of drugs off the street,&uot; stated Timberlake. &uot;What makes this even better is that we were able to keep these drugs from hitting the streets where someone would have used the money they had to buy this poison rather than purchasing Christmas gifts for their family.&uot;

Timberlake thanked the Winton Police Department, Hertford County Sheriff’s Office and the Hertford County Probation Office for their assistance in this case.