$320,000 seized, 8 arrested in major Eastern NC cocaine bust

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WNCN) – Authorities are saying they’ve broken up a major Mexican cartel that was bringing large quantities of cocaine into eastern North Carolina.


Authorities found $320,000 in cash wrapped in duct tape, cash that came from the sale of 12 kilos of cocaine. The drugs were sold before the cartel was brought down with the arrest of 8 people.

“This is a major distributor throughout our community — especially the eastern part of North Carolina,” said Sheriff James Knight of Edgecombe County.

Investigators said rural Edgecombe County is attractive to drug traffickers because it’s rural and it’s easy to hide. But  when police found out large amounts of cocaine were being sold on the streets, they moved in beginning a month long probe.

“They had what we call ‘stash houses’ where they kept narcotics,” said Capt. Todd Williams of Nash County.  “They had a cash house where they counted.. This is a vacuum sealer where they would seal the drugs and money in these bags then wrap them in duct tape.”

A vehicle leaving one of those cash houses was stopped on a rural road where driver Adan Espino was arrested and nearly $300,000 in cash was found hidden in the car. More cash, guns and seven other suspects were eventually brought in in a bust investigators say has caused the cocaine supply around here to dry up.

“We’ve already seen and heard from streets of having to find other sources so we know it’s made a huge impact,” Williams said.

Investigators acknowledged this bust only temporarily stems the tide of illegal drug distribution.
(SOT Sheriff knight @ 14:12:20
“Yes, they get frustrated,” Knight said of law enforcement officials. “But they know for the future of our children and children’s children we have to keep fighting this battle.”

The investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected.


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