Aulander duo busted for prescription drugs

Published 11:21 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

AULANDER – There appears to be a growing problem with the misuse of prescription medication in the local area.

On Saturday, Aulander Police Officer Jimmy Barmer arrested and charged two residents of the town in connection with trafficking prescription medicine.

William Matthews Jr., 26, and 25-year-old Kristal Shaver, both of 212 West Main Street, were each charged with one felony count of trafficking prescription pills by possessing more than 4 grams but less than 14 grams of OxyContin and one felony count of trafficking prescription pills by possessing more than 28 grams of Hydrocodone.

In addition, the pair stands charged with two felony counts each of possession with intent to sale and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance (cocaine), one felony count each of possession of a Schedule II controlled substance and maintaining a dwelling to keep a controlled substance, also a felony.

Matthews and Shaver, who were jailed under a $250,000 bond each, were also charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors.

Two others were also arrested and charged in the same case. Barmer said that Allen Morris, 49, and 50-year-old Shelia Conner, both of 502 West Main Street, Aulander, were at the Matthews/Shaver home when law enforcement officers arrived with a search warrant. They were each charged with felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Both were taken to the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail where they each were held under a $5,000 secured bond.

All four are scheduled to make their first court appearances today (Wednesday).

Acting on several complaints, local lawmen set up surveillance on the residence located at 212 West Main Street. Barmer said enough information was gained from the surveillance to obtain a search warrant, one that was executed at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 26.

With assistance from Bertie Sheriff’s Corporal Justin Jackson, Bertie Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Phelps and Murfreesboro Police Officer Adam Benton, Barmer said the residence was searched. That search produced a large amount of prescription pills – Hydrocodone and OxyContin – that were not in a prescription bottle. Crack cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were also discovered during the search.

Hydrocodone and OxyContin (known as “oxycotton on the street) are both narcotics used to treat moderate to severe pain. Due to their opiate-related side effects, such as euphoria, sedation and somnolence, users crush and snort the drug and it reportedly delivers a powerful and fast high that many say is better than heroin.

“These drugs are legal as long as they are prescribed by a licensed doctor, filled by licensed pharmacist, in the possession of the person whose name is on the prescription and the pills are in their original container and are used for what they are intended, which is to relieve pain,” Barmer said. “When these prescriptions are out of that normal element and sold individually or in bulk on the street, then that person is violating the law.”

In August of last year, an Aulander man was charged in a similar prescription drug case and placed under a $500,000 bond.

On June 8 of this year, two individuals from the Outer Banks were charged by the Windsor Police with attempting to fill a phony prescription, for the same type of narcotics, at a Windsor pharmacy.

One week later (June 15), the Murfreesboro Police charged two Virginia men after they allegedly passed a phony prescription at a pharmacy in that town. A third person, a woman, was later arrested in Gates County on the same case.

“Misusing prescription medication is becoming a big problem here in our area,” Barmer said. “There’s no quick-fix to this. About the only thing I can advise would be for all of our local pharmacies to heighten their awareness to prescriptions for these types of medications.”

Barmer also advised Aulander residents to contact the police department (345-3181) to report crime or suspicious activity.

“We will continue to act on tips given to us,” Barmer said. “We want to make sure that Aulander is a safe place for families and businesses.”

Barmer thanked the Bertie Sheriff’s Office and the Murfreesboro Police Department for their assistance in this case.

“I particularly want to thank (Murfreesboro Police) Chief (Darrell) Rowe,” Barmer said. “It’s great when agencies from different counties can work together. These types of cases involving drugs are everybody’s problems.”