Sampson County sheriff’s officials are touting a Monday afternoon traffic stop as the catalyst for three meth-related arrests and the possibility of more after the stop led them to a residence believed to be yet another site for the manufacture of the illegal substance.
“Traffic stops are vital to our efforts,” said Sampson Sheriff’s Cpl. Marcus Smith, echoing remarks stressed nearly weekly by Sheriff Jimmy Thornton.
“You never know what you are going to turn up during a stop, but many, many times they wind up taking drugs off our streets and putting suspects behind bars.”
That’s exactly what happened Monday, around 4:15 p.m., when Special Investigation Division agents stopped a vehicle on Beulah Road for a minor traffic violation.
Smith said when agents approached the vehicle they observed items consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine in plain sight and noted that the vehicle’s driver, Kelly Miller, was someone with whom they were familiar because of previous meth-related arrests.
Also in the vehicle, Smith said, were passengers Kim Byrd and Lloyd Talmage Whaley.
Agents were given a consent to search all those in the vehicle and that led to the arrest of all three.
Miller, 41, of 1719 Mitchell Loop Road, Roseboro, was charged with felony possession of meth precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture. She was placed under a $20,000 bond.
Whaley, 54, of 108 Jill Court, Dudley, was charged with felony possession of meth precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture and issued a warrant for a Wayne County breaking and entering charge. His bond was set at $21,000.
Byrd, 36, of 2760 Hobbton Hwy., Clinton, was charged with possession of meth and cited for possession of a Schedule IV and possession of a Schedule V controlled substance. Officers confiscated 0.5 grams of meth, 23 dosage units of Xanax and 8 dosage units of another substance during the search.
All three are scheduled to make their first appearance in District Court Friday, May 10.
Officers, Smith said, also seized the precursor items from the vehicle, which included camp fuel, assorted pills, cell phone, propane fuel, hose clamps, a torch, batteries, Draino and assorted hoses.
Further investigation at the traffic stop, officers said, led SID agents to a suspected meth lab at 913 E. Nicholson St. in Clinton, where officers remained late in the day Tuesday.
Agents, Smith said, conducted a “knock and talk” and received consent to search the premises. Officers with the Clinton Police Department assisted SID agents during their preliminary search of the residence, and during the search items consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine were located.
No charges had been leveled at press time in the second incident.