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‘First Wave’ produces another arrest

JACKSON – The battle against illegal drugs is never-ending, but a special task force is not deterred in that effort.

For the second time in less than two weeks, the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division, in conjunction with the newly formed Down East Drug Task Force, has made an arrest.

As part of “Operation First Wave”, Deryck Devon Bennett of Doe Lane in Garysburg was served with arrest warrants this week while incarcerated in the Nash County Jail on charges unrelated to the local operation.

According to Northampton County Sheriff Jack Smith, Bennett was charged with intent to sale and deliver marijuana, and sell and deliver a controlled substance near a public park.

In February’s term of Northampton County Superior Court, true bills of indictments were returned for Bennett on the aforementioned charges.

Deryck Bennett

Deryck Bennett

He was given a $5,000 secured bond and is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Northampton County District Court on April 24 to answer the local charges.

The Northampton Sheriff’s Narcotics Division and the Down East Task Force have been investigating illegal drug violations within Northampton County with a specific concentration in the towns of Garysburg and Seaboard. Agents with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office and the Down East Drug Task force were able to make controlled purchases of marijuana from Bennett.

In this incident, Task Force officers were following up on complaints in the Garysburg community in reference to illegal drug sales in and around US Highway 301 corridor.

Earlier this month, Northampton officers and Task Force agents – joined by Halifax County and Roanoke Rapids authorities – arrested twin brothers Tirrell Demond Simmons and Terrell Lamont Simmons, both of 1711 Sam Powell Dairy Road in Roanoke Rapids. Each was charged with possession with intent to sale and deliver cocaine, felony possession of cocaine, and felony maintaining a vehicle or place of dwelling for the purpose of the sale and delivery of a controlled substance.

Each brother received a secured bond of $30,000 and an initial appearance in Northampton County District Court on April 24.

“What we’ve known for a long time is that those involved in the sale and delivery of illegal drugs do not recognize county lines when it comes to dealing narcotics,” said Sheriff Smith. “However, we, as a county agency, had to remain within the borders of our jurisdiction, which handcuffs us on occasion in our investigation of a case.

“The formation of the Down East Drug Task Force removes those handcuffs,” Smith continued. “The Down East Task Force, along with using the City County Drug Task Force over in Halifax County, gives us more manpower and in multiple jurisdictions. Together we can better investigate citizen complaints about how illegal drugs are destroying our local communities and we can make a dent in the sale and delivery of these narcotics.”

Smith added that this effort helps give some peace of mind to law-abiding citizens.

“In order to achieve a common goal and to preserve and insure the quality of life for the citizens of Northampton County we all have to info share and work together to reach this goal,” Smith stated. “The Northampton County Sheriff’s Office will continue to collectively work with outside agencies as well as agencies within our county to arrest those involved in spreading this poison in our communities.”

In the latest Operation First Wave arrest, Smith and the Down East Drug Task Force thanked the Garysburg Police Department for their help in this investigation.

More arrests are forthcoming with Operation First Wave and the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office would like to encourage citizens to report any and all suspicious activities to law enforcement.

Citizens of Northampton County can report illegal drug activity to the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office at 252-534-2611 extension 175.  All tips can be submitted anonymously and will be followed up on as they come in.

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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