12 charged in Wilson drug sweep

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A dozen suspects face a combined total of nearly 100 charges for crimes including the sale of heroin and cocaine in a two-day Wilson Police Department sweep.

Police conducted Operation Heat Wave on July 25 and 26, aiming to reduce gang violence and drug activity in the city. Officials say the operation was manned by various units within the police department as well as with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service Violent Fugitive Task Force. Police say more arrests are expected as a part of the operation.

“Operation Heat Wave was an outstanding operation,” said Wilson Police Chief Thomas Hopkins. “I appreciate the support from our citizens and the teamwork of our local, state and federal agencies. The cooperation, collaboration and mutual assistance of these agencies help make this operation a success. I want to thank our citizens for getting involved to make our community safe. Our ultimate goal in this operation is to continue working toward a safe community by reducing crime and the fear of crime. There will be no tolerance for illegal drugs and gang activity in our community. We will continue to take a proactive approach through campaigns such as Operation Heat Wave to address the needs of our city.”

Capt. Jeff Boykin said the arrests came after an investigation spanning several months. He said most of the time, drug probes are based on the tips officers receive through residents.

“That’s where we get a lot of the information — from the community,” Boykin said.

He said police want residents to know that they can trust them.

“Sometimes that’s what we need is that one tip to start an investigation,” he said.

Boykin said residents can call the police department’s drug hotline at 252-293-5333 if they suspect anything in their neighborhood or contact CrimeStoppers at 252-243-2255.

“They can do so anonymously or can leave their name and number,” he said. “But anything they tell us is confidential.”


A search warrant for illegal narcotics was served at 104 Spruce St. on July 26, which was also a part of Operation Heat Wave.

While executing the search warrant, 27-year-old Andrew Barnes gained access to the attic of the home and refused to surrender, according to Sgt. Steve Stroud. Officers on the scene tried to talk Barnes out of the attic but he refused to communicate, Stroud said. Officers then went into the attic and got Barnes, subsequently arrested him on various charges.

Police said they seized powder cocaine and drug paraphernalia from the home.

Barnes, of 104 Spruce St., was arrested on charges including assault by pointing a gun, possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, maintaining a place for the sale of narcotics, failure to appear on a misdemeanor, failure to appear on a felony, resisting a public officer and cyberstalking.

He was jailed under an $86,000 secured bond.


Others charged during the operation include:

• Tyquan Savory, 27, 1837 Butterfield Lane, 15 counts of selling or delivering cocaine, 14 counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, trafficking in other substance; $1 million bond

• Troy Newsome, 30, 314 Lee St., three counts of trafficking heroin, four counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin, four counts of selling heroin; $300,000 secured bond

• Kendric Pearce, 23, 8537 N.C. 42, Kenly, three counts of selling or delivering heroin, three counts of selling heroin, 12 counts of trafficking heroin; $125,000 secured bond

• Devanta Battle, 24, 607 Lincoln St., selling heroin, selling or delivering heroin, trafficking heroin; $200,000 secured bond

• Khincey Barnes, 40, 105 Gold St., six counts of selling or delivering heroin, six counts of trafficking heroin; $200,000 secured bond

• Christopher Merrill, 41, 5814 Green Pond Road, Sims, selling or delivering heroin, possession with intent to sell or deliver heroin; $5,000 secured bond

SBlt Elliot Santiago, 28, 303 Broad St., conspiracy to obtain, sell or deliver a controlled substance, selling or delivering heroin, conspiracy to deliver heroin; $10,000 secured bond

• Dillion Callahan, 18, 5313 Skyland Loop, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia; $500 unsecured bond

• Kenneth Pate, 18, 6642 Mobley Road, Lucama, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia; $500 unsecured bond

• Matthew High, 18, 7807 Healthy Plains Church Road, Sims, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia; $500 unsecured bond

• Naquan Dawson, 20, 414 Gold St., financial card fraud, possession of marijuana; bond unknown

olivia@wilsontimes.com | 265-7879