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Prisoners face added charges

WINDSOR – Two eastern ‘Carolina residents were served with drug trafficking warrants on Monday while incarcerated here in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail.

Shanita Michelle Newton, 27, of Greenville and Michael Terrell Rouse, 32, of Snow Hill were charged by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation as part of what that law enforcement agency references as a “large drug ring.”

Newton was charged with on two felony counts of trafficking in opiates and two felony counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Rouse faces charges of one felony count of trafficking in opiates and one felony count of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Bond was set at $200,000 each and both made their initial appearances on Tuesday in Bertie County District Court.

In both cases, SBI Special Agent in Charge Donnie Varnell said Newton and Rouse obtained multiple oxycodone tablets through fraudulent activities.

Varnell confirmed that Newton and Rouse were already in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail on charges unrelated to the SBI’s current probe of drug trafficking. He also confirmed during a phone call with the R-C News-Herald that these two arrests, plus another one on Monday in Lenoir County, were not part of the “Operation Take as Directed” round-up this past June that netted the arrests of 28 local citizens, to include 15 in Bertie, seven in Hertford, five in Northampton, and one in Gates.

The other arrest on Monday in connection with the current SBI operation was Joline Danielle Able, 26, of LeGrange. She faces one felony count of trafficking in opiates and one felony count of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Varnell said Able also obtained multiple Oxycodone tablets through fraudulent activities.

He added that the investigation began after Eastern Urology in Greenville provided information to the SBI.

That investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected.

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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