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Fight precedes drug arrest

WINTON – A Murfreesboro man is in jail here, held under a $451,050 bond after he assaulted law enforcement officers prior to being arrested on numerous drug charges.

Earl Lamont Vaughan, age 42 of Benthall Bridge Road, was arrested April 2 and charged with trafficking heroin by transit, trafficking heroin by possession, possession of heroin with intent to sell and deliver, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and deliver, possession of a Schedule II narcotic, maintaining a dwelling to store/keep a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and Resist/Delay/Obstruct (a law enforcement officer). He was also issued a citation for driving while license revoked.

Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes said the arrest and charges were the result of a traffic stop in the 400 block of Benthall Bridge Road performed by HCSO Detective Chase Oliver.

In his report, Oliver – who was accompanied by Down East Drug Task Force Agent Martin Phelps – said he observed Vaughan operating a motor vehicle and had knowledge that Vaughan did not have a valid driving license.

By the time Oliver turned his vehicle around to perform the traffic stop, Vaughan had pulled his vehicle into a private driveway and entered a residence of a family member.

Upon knocking on the door of the residence and meeting with Vaughan, Oliver noted in his report that he noticed Vaughan acting extremely nervous. Oliver asked permission to search Vaughan’s vehicle, which was granted. There he found a baggie with some type of residue inside.

“At that point, Detective Oliver asked permission of the family member of Mr. Vaughan to search the residence. The family member signed a consent form for that search,” stated Sheriff Hayes.

“Then, as the officers were attempting to detain Mr. Vaughan for DWLR (Driving While License Revoked), he began to fight the officers in the living room of the residence,” Hayes continued. “The officers gave several commands to Mr. Vaughan to stop fighting, but he refused. The officers were able to pin him down and handcuff him.”

With Vaughan now detained, a search of the residence began. At that point, in a bedroom that contained Vaughan’s clothes and other belongings, Oliver observed a set of digital scales that appeared to contain heroin residue. That led to the residence being fully secured and the officers obtaining a search warrant.

Upon execution of that warrant, the officers, inside the same bedroom, found a fully loaded pistol, a blender containing heroin residue, a bag containing a white powdery substance, 38.5 grams of heroin, and an amount of marijuana.

Vaughan made his initial appearance on the charges on April 5 in Hertford County Criminal District Court.

Hayes thanked his officers for their professionalism in making the arrest, especially in regards of being attacked by the suspect.

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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