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U.S. Marshals take custody of Bertie pair

WINDSOR – Two Bertie County men, indicted late last week on 11 combined federal drug charges, are now in the custody of U.S. Marshals.

Christopher Swain, 44, and Antonio Augustus Boone, 32, both of Windsor, were transferred into federal custody on Wednesday of this week. Detective Sgt. Frank Timberlake and Detective Kenny Gilliam of the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division took the two men to Raleigh where they were handed over to federal law enforcement officials.

A detention hearing for Swain and Boone is scheduled for Monday in Raleigh.

The two men were arrested Oct. 7, 2005 on felony cocaine charges. Additionally, Boone was charged with possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.

Swain was found in possession of a kilo (2.2 pounds) of cocaine as well as approximately $15,000 in cash. The kilo was one-half powder cocaine and one-half crack cocaine, which was divided into eight, two-ounce packages.

“When you find individuals moving kilo levels of cocaine, you aren’t just looking at a Bertie County crime, but one involving our neighboring counties as well,” Greg Atkins, Bertie County Sheriff, said. “It’s like I’ve said all along; drug dealers do not recognize county lines. They are looking to spread their poison wherever they can.”

Calling Swain a “high level dealer,” Atkins said it took six months of investigative work to bring about the arrest.

Further investigation by the Bertie Sheriff’s Narcotics Division linked Swain to a complex cocaine organization. This organization was said to be responsible for delivering kilo amounts of cocaine throughout Bertie and Martin counties.

On Jan. 13, a Federal Grand Jury in Greenville returned a seven-count federal indictment on Swain. Boone was indicted on four federal counts.

The federal charges against Swain are as follows:

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack) and a quantity of cocaine.

Distribute more than 5 grams of cocaine base (crack) and aiding and abetting.

Distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack) and aiding and abetting.

Possession with the intent to distribute more than 5 grams of cocaine base (crack) and aiding and abetting.

Possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack) and a quantity of cocaine.

Possession of a firearm by a felon.

Use, carry or possess a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

Boone’s federal indictments were as follows:

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack) and a quantity of cocaine.

Distribute more than 5 grams of cocaine base (crack) and aiding and abetting.

Distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack) and aiding and abetting.

Possession with the intent to distribute more than 5 grams of cocaine base (crack) and aiding and abetting.

Assisting the Bertie County Sheriff’s Narcotics Division in this case were the FBI, SBI, Windsor Police Department, Aulander Police Department, Williamston Police Department, Washington Police Department, Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the NC National Guard’s Counter Drug Task Force and Bertie County Probation and Parole.

Also aiding in the arrests were two specially trained dogs n “Dakota” (handled by Sgt. Charlie Harmon of the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office) and “Buddy” (handled by Bertie Probation Officer Frank Massey). The dogs sniffed out the drugs and cash.

“There are a lot of hours that are put into an investigation like this that go unseen, but are necessary to make a good case,” Timberlake said. “There were also a lot of citizen input that was supplied by brave citizens who want to rid drug dealing in our county.

This was so important in the outcome of this case.

Without these type citizens, our job would be much more difficult.”

Timberlake added there were more federal arrests expected in this case.