Drugs, cash discovered

Published 8:07 am Tuesday, February 4, 2014

AULANDER – An Aulander man with a criminal history dating back to 1979 finds himself again under arrest.

James Randolph Avery, who just recently completed a six-year sentence behind bars for felony burglary, is being held under a $50,000 bond in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail after a multi-agency effort nabbed the 51-year-old for possessing a quantity of crack cocaine. He also was in possession of a large amount of cash.

James R. Avery

James R. Avery

Avery’s court date in Windsor is pending after being postponed due to last week’s winter storm.

According to Aulander Police Chief Jimmy Barmer, Avery was the subject of a narcotics investigation based on complaints lodged by Aulander citizens.

“We received several reports that Mr. Avery was selling crack cocaine from his residence at 105 Sycamore Street here in our town,” said Barmer.

With limited resources within a small town police department, Barmer solicited aid from the local law enforcement community. Assistance came from three departments – Detectives Greg Harrison and Dexter Hayes, and Sgt. Tom Helms (and his K-9, “Venus”) from the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office; Det. Sgt. Dwayne Outlaw and Det. Martin Phelps, both of the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office; and Sgt. Chris Owens (and his K-9 “Kaine”) and Officer William Barmer, both of the Murfreesboro Police Department.

“Having the cooperation of these different agencies really helps; we all work so well together, even though we are separated by a county line,” Barmer noted. “I thank all of them for their assistance, to include (Aulander Police) Officer Brian Knowles. I especially want to thank Sheriffs John Holley (Bertie) and Juan Vaughan (Hertford), and Murfreesboro Police Chief Darrell Rowe for allowing their officers to assist us in our effort to rid the streets of Aulander of illegal drugs.”

Acting on the citizen complaints, Chief Barmer said he set-up surveillance on Avery’s residence. That effort generated enough information for Barmer to obtain a search warrant, which was executed on Jan. 24.

“Mr. Avery was not at home when we went to serve the search warrant, but a short time later he was spotted by Detectives Harrison and Hayes driving his car, which was also included in the warrant, on Commerce Street,” Chief Barmer said.

Barmer added that a traffic stop was performed on the vehicle. A search was conducted and crack cocaine and $3,180 in U.S. currency was found on Avery’s person.

“We also moved forward with using the warrant to search Mr. Avery’s home, but a sweep by the two K-9’s did not find any additional drugs,” Chief Barmer said.

Avery was arrested and charged with felony possession with intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine, felony possession of cocaine, and maintaining a vehicle to keep a controlled substance.

Barmer stated that Avery remains in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail as he awaits his rescheduled court appearance.

A search of the North Carolina Division of Prisons website revealed a six-page “rap sheet” on Avery. Other than his prison time following a April 2007 conviction of felony burglary, Avery has either served active time behind bars or was on probation for misdemeanor breaking and entering (2005 and 2003); speeding to elude arrest (2003); possession of narcotics (2000); misdemeanor larceny (1997); misdemeanor damage to property (1994 and 1993); felony sell of narcotics (1985); and misdemeanor breaking and entering and larceny (1979).

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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