Heroin seized in regional probe

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Two people face drug trafficking charges after authorities seized nearly 50 bricks of heroin in a multi-agency operation led by the Wilson Police Department.

Farlyn Andres Suarez De Jesus, 26, and Katherine Polanco, 27, both of Raleigh, were arrested and charged with trafficking heroin after a Nash County traffic stop last week. The Drug Enforcement Administration and Nash County Sheriff’s Office assisted Wilson police with the investigation.

On Feb. 6, Nash County sheriff’s deputies conducted a traffic stop on U.S. 264 East near Middlesex just past Exit 27, said Wilson police Capt. Jeff Boykin. That stop led to the seizure of 30 bricks of heroin, he said.

That traffic stop also led authorities to a Raleigh apartment where officials seized an additional 17 bricks of heroin, Boykin said.

He said the operation was prompted after Wilson police officers received information that a source of heroin from Raleigh was responsible for the distribution of large quantities of heroin within the city limits.

Boykin said the investigation was significant because authorities were able to stop a large amount of heroin from coming into Wilson, Nash and surrounding counties. Boykin said the heroin was packaged as individual doses, which meant it was ready for sale and distribution.

The estimated street value of the heroin was more than $23,000, Boykin said.

Evidence photos provided by the Nash County Sheriff’s Office show some individual doses of heroin stamped “Beast Mode.” The term refers to having a fierce competitive edge and was popularized by Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch. Some heroin dealers stamp or brand the illicit drug to differentiate it from other dealers’ products.

Polanco received a $600,000 secured bond and De Jesus received a $950,000 secured bond. Both were booked into the Nash County Detention Center in Nashville.

“We are proud to partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Nash County Sheriff’s Office and other surrounding agencies in regards to this operation,” Wilson Police Chief Thomas Hopkins said in a prepared statement. “The success of an operation of this magnitude is not possible without the support and assistance of our citizens. We will utilize all available resources and continue the strong partnerships with our local, state and federal agencies to stop the illegal distribution of drugs in our communities.

“With the combination of our efforts and teamwork, we are able to work across jurisdictional boundaries to bring those responsible for the illegal distribution of drugs to justice. Though we are most certainly pleased with the outcome of this investigation, there is still much work to be done stop the flow of drugs into our communities.”

Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said his deputies are eager to partner with other law enforcement agencies to get drugs off the streets.

“This is an example of how local and federal partnerships make our communities safer,” Stone said in a Wednesday news release. “The Nash County Sheriff’s Office is committed to partnering with other agencies to stop the sale of illegal narcotics, to better our communities and the quality of life for all citizens.”