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Bertie businessmen busted

WINDSOR – A Colerain business owner is awaiting a federal bond hearing in Greenville following his Wednesday arrest on numerous drug charges.

Brandon Ashley Harrell, 23, of 211 Lazy Hill Drive, Colerain, is currently jailed in the Pitt County Detention Center. He stands charged in a federal indictment for conspiracy to distribute more than five kilos of cocaine.

Harrell is being held without bond until his hearing, which is scheduled to take place sometimes next week.

His business partner, William Mitchell Spivey, was also charged. Spivey, 26, of 306 North King Street, Windsor, was found to be in possession of approximately 20 grams of marijuana and a smoking pipe, used to introduce a controlled substance into the body.

Working in conjunction with the Greenville Narcotics Task Force, the Bertie Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division paid a Wednesday night visit to Harrell’s and Spivey’s place of business, Lazy Hill Grill, located at Colerain Beach. After serving Harrell with the federal indictment, law enforcement officials conducted a search of his business, home and vehicles. His home is located at Lazy Hill Shores, near Colerain on the Chowan River.

Discovered in that search were marijuana, various pills and what is believed to be cocaine residue found in a plastic bag.

Included in the pills was Ecstasy, a Schedule II (as listed in the North Carolina controlled substance act) synthetic drug with both psychedelic and stimulant effects. More than 50 such pills were found in Harrell’s possession.

Also discovered were approximately 50 Hydrocodone pills and 35 Darvocet pills. Hydrocodone, a Schedule I controlled substance, and Darvocet (Schedule IV) are both related to codeine. Both are normally used as pain relievers and are extremely habit forming. Both are in a class of drugs known as narcotic analgesics.

Several bottles of Inositol pills were also found. Inositol, in normal usage, plays an important part in the health of cell membranes, especially the specialized cells in the brain, bone marrow, eyes and intestines. In the world of illegal drugs, it is used as a cutting agent for cocaine.

“This arrest was the result of excellent investigative work as well as cooperation between the law enforcement agencies involved,” Bertie Sheriff Greg Atkins said. “The end result was well-worth all the time and effort as we were able to close off a line of supply for these various illegal drugs.”

Local warrants were drawn Thursday on Harrell for possession with intent to sell and deliver Ecstasy, Hydrocodone and Darvocet. He was also charged with Level III trafficking in opium as well as maintaining a vehicle as a place to keep, store and sell a controlled substance. Those warrants are expected to be served early next week.

Detective Sgt. Frank Timberlake of the Bertie Sheriff’s Narcotics Division headed-up the local effort in the investigation.