Heroin seized in Friday night raid

Published 9:44 am Tuesday, September 11, 2012

EURE – Two local residents are under arrest for allegedly accepting stolen property in exchange for supplying a powerful narcotic.

Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb reported that 26-year-old Amanda Darden and 29-year-old Anthony Cipollaro, both of 163 Little Island Road, Eure, were arrested Friday night. Both were charged with felony possession of heroin, felony possession with the intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin, and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were each placed under a $10,000 bond and made their first court appearance in Gatesville on Monday where both requested a court-appointed attorney.

Webb said approximately 10 grams of heroin was discovered at the residence, along with several items of paraphernalia, to include packaging material, electronic scales and a cutting agent (baby laxative).

Additionally, Webb said several color TV’s, electronic devices (laptop computers and accessories) and several items of jewelry were found in the residence. Based on information supplied to law enforcement officers, those items were allegedly stolen from county residences as well as from the Ahoskie Wal Mart and used by those physically dependent on the use of illegal narcotics as a means to purchase the heroin.

“We feel certain that other charges will be filed as to the items found in the residence that we strongly believe were stolen,” Webb said. “As of Monday afternoon, I learned that the Ahoskie Police Department is looking into drawing warrants against Ms. Darden and Mr. Cipollaro in regards to the items allegedly stolen from the Wal Mart there and reportedly used to purchase the drugs. If that’s the case then the bond will increase on the two suspects.”

Webb said the case against the duo was originally built on information provided by local citizens.

“We began our investigation on Aug. 30,” Webb said. “Our first big break came when a business person here in our county helped us identify those two particular individuals who attempted to use old silver dollars to purchase items from that business. We believe that silver was stolen during a B&E (breaking and entering) of a residence here in Gates County.”

After following up on other leads and conducting surveillance, Webb said he was able to obtain a search warrant for the Little Island Road residence. That warrant was executed on Friday night where his deputies encountered eight individuals, ages 18-30, at the residence.

A search turned-up the heroin and other items, to include spoons used to heat the drug and needles used to inject the narcotic directly into the vein of the user.

“The heroin, the needles and the spoons were all seized and packaged as evidence,” Webb said, adding that those items will be sent to the SBI lab in Raleigh on Tuesday for analysis.

Webb added that he believed the heroin was being transported to Gates County from the Portsmouth, Va. area.

“We’re working this case with the Portsmouth Police Department,” he said.

The investigation also includes the owner of the rental property where the items were found.

“The landlord of that property is cooperating with us on the case,” Webb noted. “We thank him for his willingness to work with us and we also thank the citizens of Gates County whose tips helped steer us in the right direction. We always encourage our citizens to provide us with information regarding possible criminal activity.”

Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, which is obtained from the opium poppy. It is a “downer” or depressant that affects the brain’s pleasure systems and interferes with the brain’s ability to perceive pain. The drug is a white to dark brown powder or tar-like substance.

Heroin can be used in a variety of ways, depending on user

preference and the purity of the drug. It can be injected into a vein (“mainlining”), injected into a muscle, smoked in a water pipe or standard pipe, mixed in a marijuana joint or regular cigarette, inhaled as smoke through a straw, known as “chasing the dragon,” or snorted as powder via the nose.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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