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Drug tests are back

AHOSKIE – The results are in.

Ahoskie Police Detective Jeremy Roberts said Tuesday he had received confirmation concerning the drugs found in the van occupied by two workers for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) last month.

&uot;We have received confirmation from the SBI Crime Lab the drugs contained in the tackle box were Ketamine and Pentobarbital,&uot; Roberts said.

The Sergeant said the bottles were labeled with the professional name of the drugs.

According to Roberts, the drugs are Schedule III drugs which are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency and could only be purchased by a licensed Veterinarian.

An investigation by the Ahoskie Police Department and the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest of a pair of workers for PETA.

Following surveillance, a white panel van was observed stopping alongside a dumpster in Ahoskie. A person in the van then tossed several dark-colored bags into the dumpsters before attempting to pull away.

A traffic stop led to the arrest of Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, of Norfolk, Virginia and Andrew Benjamin Cook, 24, of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The two were charged with a combined 62 felony counts of cruelty to animals as well as a combined 16 counts of illegal disposal of animals. At their first appearance, a charge of illegal trespassing was added to each person’s charges.

Those charges came after officers found the bags contained 18 dead dogs, including on with seven puppies. An additional 13 dogs were found inside the van. They were also dead.

One of the other two items, a tackle box, contained the Ketamine and Pentobarbital.

At the request of this newspaper, Dr. Cheryl Powell of the Powellsville Pet Clinic shared information about the two drugs.

Dr. Powell, who is a licensed veterinarian, said Ketamine is primarily used as aesthetic drug that is used to sedate animals.

&uot;You would have to get carried away with that drug to kill,&uot; Dr. Powell said.

She said the Pentobarbital was the sedative given to animals to euthanize them.

In both cases, Dr. Powell said a DEA license was required purchase the drugs.

Detective Roberts said the APD would be waiting for approximately two more weeks to see if the drugs in the tackle box were the same as those in the dogs that were found in the bags.