Sheriff: Two Brunswick men arrested in ‘record’ heroin bust

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Erik Grissett
Erik Grissett

A joint investigation by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and the Wilmington Police Department recently led to the county’s largest heroin seizure.

According to Emily Flax, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, deputies arrested 34-year-old Michael Malik Levi Grissett and 29-year-old Erik Douglas Grissett following a traffic stop on U.S. 17 in Brunswick County on Tuesday night. Both men have been the subject of a monthlong investigation into alleged drug activity by the sheriff’s office and Wilmington police, Flax said.

Sheriff’s deputies stopped the men who were driving a rented minivan at the intersection of U.S. 17 and N.C. 87 at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“Evidence of drugs within the vehicle prompted deputies to contact the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit,” Flax said. “When drug agents arrived on the scene, a search of the vehicle and its occupants produced over 3 ounces of heroin, a small amount of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.”

The amount of heroin seized from the minivan is estimated to be the equivalent of 15,000 bindles of heroin, which has an estimated street value of $300,000.

Michael Grissett
Michael Grissett

In July 2014, Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said a heroin arrest and seizure of 8,000 bindles of heroin, which had a $160,000 street value, was the county’s largest in history. To put it in perspective, Ingram said, in 2013, drug agents seized a little more than 8,000 bindles of heroin, which was more than double 2012’s seizure of 3,400 bindles.

Heroin trafficking and use in Brunswick County is on the rise, as evidenced by the rapid increase. In 2011, drug agents seized 354 bindles. Forty-two bindles were seized in 2010 and 17 bindles were seized in 2009.

Related story: Heroin seizure largest in county history

Michael Malik Levi Grissett, of Clover Lane, Supply, was charged with three counts of trafficking heroin, one count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was taken to the Brunswick County jail, where he was placed under a $3 million secured bond. During a first appearance Wednesday in Brunswick County District Court, Michael Grissett’s bond was reduced to $1 million.

Erik Grissett, of Ellis Drive, Supply, is charged with three counts of trafficking heroin, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. He is being held under a $1 million secured bond.

According to the N.C. Department of Corrections, Erik Grissett has several felony drug convictions. Michael Grissett was convicted of possession of a schedule I controlled substance in 2001.

This investigation is still open and ongoing and agents expect additional arrests, Flax said.