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Traffic warrant leads to drug arrest

AULANDER – It doesn’t pay to drive while one’s license are revoked.

A Kelford man learned that lesson the hard way on Feb. 16 where a traffic stop to serve a warrant for driving with a revoked license turned into much more.

Willie McCoy Freeman, 26, was arrested on two felonies – possession with intent to sale and deliver crack cocaine and maintaining a vehicle to keep a controlled substance. Freeman was also charged with simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was jailed under a $75,000 secured bond.

Freeman’s arrest came on the heels of his Feb. 14 appearance in Bertie District Court on the charge of driving while license were revoked. He was granted a continuance in that case.

According to Aulander Police Chief Jimmy Barmer, who was also in court the same day to testify in another case, he noticed Freeman, a short time later, driving a vehicle on Granville Street in Windsor. Barmer said he saw Freeman stop, exit the vehicle and enter a place of business.

“I contacted the Windsor Police Department at that point and helped them with the surveillance on the vehicle, but Mr. Freeman never returned to that vehicle,” Barmer said.

Meanwhile, the Windsor Police, based on Barmer’s observations, drew a warrant for Freeman for driving while license were revoked.

Two days later (Feb. 16), Barmer was in Ahoskie where he saw Freeman join three other men in a vehicle. He said Freeman was a passenger, but there was an outstanding warrant on him.

Sensing that the vehicle was heading back towards the Kelford area, Barmer followed the car while notifying Aulander Police Officer Brian Knowles. A short time later as the vehicle in question traveled on NC 11 near Aulander, Knowles made the traffic stop.

Knowles, after serving the driving while license revoked warrant, placed Freeman under arrest. He searched Freeman, finding marijuana in his pocket. A further search of the vehicle revealed approximately 10 grams of crack cocaine under the seat in which Freeman was a passenger. Barmer said Freeman took ownership of the drugs.

The other three men in the vehicle were searched and released.

“Once again, the teamwork displayed by different agencies here in Bertie County worked well,” Barmer said. “Because of the efforts of the Windsor Police and because of the dedication of Officer Knowles, we were able to take $1,000 worth of illegal drugs off our streets.”