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One bust equals two arrests

AULANDER – For one Aulander resident, it was only a matter of time before his alleged drug trafficking lifestyle ended by being nabbed by the long arm of the law.

For another, it was a simple case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Two Aulander men were arrested Dec. 19 on drug charges. Reggie Laverne “Duke” Dale, 31, of 407 Chestnut Street faces 15 felony charges n eight counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine and seven counts of sale and delivery of cocaine.

Dale was placed in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail under a $250,000 secured bond.

In a related matter, Bertie County law enforcement officers arrested 28-year-old Tony Allen Hardee of 103 West Elm Street. Allegedly, he arrived to purchase drugs from Dale just as officers were securing the scene.

Hardee was charged with attempting to purchase crack cocaine and placed under a $2,000 secured bond.

According to Aulander Police Chief Jimmy Barmer, Dale had been the target of a four-month investigation stemming from citizen complaints concerning the sale and delivery of crack cocaine in the Aulander area.

Based upon those complaints, Barmer and Bertie County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Frank Timberlake launched the investigation. That police work, which included surveillance, resulted in warrants being drawn for Dale’s arrest.

“As we were en route to his residence at 407 Chestnut Street, we saw Mr. Dale exiting a residence at 404 Chestnut Street,” Chief Barmer said. “At that time we stopped and approached Mr. Dale in order to serve the arrest warrants.”

Following a brief tussle with Dale in the front yard of 404 Chestnut, he was taken into custody. Based upon the fact that Dale was just witnessed by officers leaving 404 Chestnut, the lawmen further investigated that matter.

“Frank (Timberlake) and Murfreesboro Police Lt. Joe Burgess, who was assisting us on this case, went and knocked on the door,” Barmer said. “They were admitted to the residence where they saw, in plain sight, crack cocaine, scales and packaging material.”

Barmer said three individuals inside the residence were detained and questioned. He added that just as they were being read their rights, Dale informed the officers that the drugs, scales and packaging material all belonged to him.

“At that point we released the three individuals found inside 404 Chestnut Street,” Barmer said.

Dale and Hardee each made their first court appearance on Dec. 20.

“I’d like to thank Bertie Sheriff Greg Atkins and his staff, including Frank Timberlake, for their continued support as we battle the sale and use of illegal drugs here in our county,” Barmer said. “I also appreciate the help of (Murfreesboro Police Chief) Darrell Rowe and his staff, particularly Lt. Burgess, for their assistance. Even though they are a Hertford County agency, we’re all in this fight together to combat drugs.”