Five arrested in federal and local drug operation in Sampson and Duplin counties

Yuma police say the suspects were never inside the high school.
Yuma police say the suspects were never inside the high school.(File image | Credit: Pixabay)
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 3:43 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - U.S. Attorney Michael Easley provided information about a joint operation that occurred last week involving several agencies including the Wilmington Police Department and New Hanover Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

The operation was reportedly related to ‘ongoing and coordinated efforts to target drug distribution in Sampson and Duplin Counties’ by primarily targeting suspected armed drug dealers.

Search warrants and arrests warrants were executed at multiple locations in Duplin and Sampson Counties, with agents retrieving approximately eight pounds of suspected cocaine, more than four ounces of suspected fentanyl, more than an ounce of suspected crack-cocaine, drug-packing and drug-distribution materials, multiple firearms and ammunition, and approximately $10,000 in cash.

“I am thankful for the cooperation of our federal and state partners in combating the drug epidemic. While these seizures don’t solve the problem, they send the message that this activity is not welcomed or tolerated in our community,” Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said.

The following were arrested as a result of the operation:

  • Christopher Hill, 42, of Sampson County, for distribution of methamphetamine;
  • Cheri Boyette, 45, of Duplin County, for distribution of methamphetamine;
  • Peyton McBride, 42, of Sampson County, for distribution of cocaine;
  • Rashawn Ray McDuffie, 43, of Duplin County, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine;
  • Dennis Ray Taylor, 57, of Duplin County, for distribution of methamphetamine.

“Our office is working closely with our state and local partners to get illegal drugs and guns off the streets and put those fueling the drug epidemic behind bars,” Easley said. “We are using every tool available to make our communities safer.”