An I-40 traffic stop turned up far more than a motor vehicle violation Wednesday afternoon in Sampson when county agents discovered 7,000 bindles of heroin and took two men into custody on a slew of trafficking charges.
Jaleel Speller, 22, of 1537 Schley St., Hillside, N.J., and Demetri Andre Newton, 17, of 405 Barclay Hills Drive, Wilmington, N.C., were arrested on the interstate at mile marker 358.
Speller was charged with trafficking by possession, trafficking by manufacturing, trafficking by transportation and drug paraphernalia. He was jailed under a $203,000 bond for the felony offenses. Newton was charged with trafficking by possession, trafficking by manufacturing, trafficking by transportation, drug paraphernalia and maintaining a vehicle. His bond was set at $250,000.
According to Sampson County Sheriff’s Cpl. Marcus Smith, deputies with the Criminal Interdiction Team stopped a silver 2015 Nissan Altima along the interstate because of a seatbelt violation.
“During the stop, probable cause was established to conduct a search of the vehicle,” Smith noted.
It was during that search that officers found the heroin bindles. The drugs, Smith said, had a street value of $70,000.
Sampson Sheriff Jimmy Thornton praised the efforts of his officers and, as he often does, pointed to the arrests as yet another example of working to take drugs off the streets.
“This is poison that will not end up in our communities and in the hands of our children,” the sheriff stressed.
Reach publisher and editor Sherry Matthews at 910-249-4612. Follow her on Twitter @sieditor1960; follow the paper @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.