ALBEMARLE — Through a collaborative effort, the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division and the Stanly County SWAT team utilized search warrants on July 22 to arrest a pair of Albemarle residents on various drug and gun charges.
Approximately 181 grams of fentanyl, 4.1 grams of methamphetamine, an AR-15 style rifle and two handguns were seized by authorities during the raid.
“We’re thrilled to be able to get that kind of quantity off the streets and to be able to save lives while protecting the community,” Cpt. Chris Huneycutt of the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office told SCJ.
In what was the culmination of a “several-week investigation,” Tyshaun Grant Crump of 640 Pee Dee Ave. and Braxton Demille Phifer of 644 Pee Dee Ave. were each arrested on multiple charges. They are scheduled to appear in the Stanly County District Court on Aug. 2.
Crump was charged with opiate trafficking; possession of a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver; maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for use, storage, or sale of controlled substances; and illegal firearm possession by a convicted felon.
Phifer was charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver; maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for use, storage, or sale of controlled substances; and possession of a stolen firearm.
Huneycutt told SCJ that the usage of fentanyl is an issue that has continued to cause crime and medical emergencies throughout Stanly County at a problematic rate.
“From our perspective, you have some statistical fluctuations based on overdoses; however, we’re still seeing a very high usage of fentanyl from a street perspective,” he said.
According to April’s statistics — the most current data released by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services pertaining to individual counties — Stanly County had the state’s second-highest rate of opioid overdoses resulting in hospital visits, with 20.7 people per 10,000 residents.
Only McDowell County had a higher rate than Stanly in April.
Stanly’s latest overdose rate is over three times the state’s average per-county rate of 6.7 people; a total of 36 emergency department visits have been reported in 2021, nearly equaling the 37 reported in the same time-span in 2020.
In one particular recent opioid overdose, an arrest was made by detectives with the Albemarle Police Department. Felicia Owens, an Albemarle resident, was charged on July 15 with second-degree murder and death by distribution as a result of a fatal overdose of a 37-year-old male on Jan. 24.
On the same day as Owens’ arrest, more charges were made by the APD in a separate search warrant raid where approximately 65 grams of methamphetamine, 41 grams of marijuana, one gram of fentanyl, drug paraphernalia and $3,034.00 in cash were seized by detectives.
With the help of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and Norwood Police Department, multiple charges were given to Jordan Williams, Dewitt Williams and Xee Xiong; all three made their first scheduled court appearance on July 26.
Jordan Williams, 26, was charged with methamphetamine trafficking; possession of a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver; maintaining a dwelling; and drug paraphernalia possession.
Dewitt Williams, 63, was charged with illegal firearm possession by a convicted felon; methamphetamine and fentanyl possession; and maintaining a dwelling.
Xiong, 33, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver.