NC couple sold drugs to undercover cop with 2-year-old son nearby, police say

Betsy Carpenter and James Fredell  (Source: Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)
Betsy Carpenter and James Fredell (Source: Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)

VALE, N.C. (WBTV) – A couple in Vale were arrested and accused of selling pills to an undercover detective while their 2-year-old son was present.

Detectives also said roaches were everywhere in their house and claim the home is unfit to live in.

Lincoln County detectives reportedly seized more than 50 grams of opiate-based pills over multiple buys. During one of the exchanges, deputies said the couple’s young son sat next to the undercover detective as the mother counted out the pills.

Detectives said the 2-year-old’s father, James Steven Fredell, handed the pills to Betsy May Carpenter.

“This couple did not blink an eye when selling us the pills, all the while with their young child present. These trafficking charges are the some of the most severe state-level drug charges someone can receive,” says Narcotics Lt. Jon Propst.

During Fredell and Carpenter’s arrest, DSS workers placed the child with another couple temporarily, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

“After seeing the living condition of the home and understanding the dangers associated with drug activity, especially drug sales, we decided to act much quicker than normal.  At that point the child’s safety became priority over continuing a drug investigation,” says Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Lt. Jon Propst.

Carpenter was charged with multiple felony counts of trafficking opiates, possession with intent to sell or deliver a Schedule II substance and maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances, as well as one misdemeanor count of child abuse.

Fredell was also charged with opiate trafficking charges, possession with intent to sell or deliver a Schedule II substance and a misdemeanor count of child abuse.

Carpenter’s bond was set at $100,000 and Fredell’s was set at $85,000. Both are scheduled to make their first appearance in Lincoln County District Court on Wednesday.

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