Brunswick drug agents conclude heroin operation with four arrests

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CORDERO LAMIR BLAND RAY CHARLES BLAND TERRY LAZEL SAPP GEORGE HERMAN HILL ZACHARY RYAN CREECH DONALD D WESTON LASHAWN RAVON BLAND JUSTIN ASHIM BLAND ADAM CHRISTOPHER BIAS JERMAINE WRATHEL BLAND
Cordero Lamir Bland

Four men are facing multiple heroin charges following the conclusion of a Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office operation that targeted dealers in the county.

Drug agents concluded “Operation: You’re Next” on Wednesday with the arrest of four Shallotte men at homes on Hale Swamp Road, according to Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Emily Flax. The months-long operation began in late October 2015 in an effort to round up local heroin dealers and to raise awareness about the highly addictive drug.

“We would consider this a successful operation.” Flax said. “Anytime we can get just one bag off the streets, that’s one less bag out there.”

On Wednesday, drug agents arrested two bothers – 22-year-old Cordero Lamir Bland and 29-year-old Ray Charles Bland – at a home off Hale Swamp Road between Shallotte and Ocean Isle Beach. More than 1,300 bags of heroin were seized from the home along with more than $1,600 in cash and a stolen firearm, Flax said.

The reason for the sudden push on heroin traffickers and dealers was because heroin use had skyrocketed recently in the county, reflecting a trend experienced by Wilmington and the surrounding areas, Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said during a press conference about the operation in October.

“Crack cocaine used to be our biggest problem, then it was prescription drugs. Now, it’s shifting to heroin,” Ingram said. “It’s killing people.”

Cordero Bland was charged with trafficking heroin, six counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver heroin, five counts of selling and delivering heroin, conspiracy to sell and deliver heroin, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Ray Bland was charged with trafficking heroin, five counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver heroin, four counts of selling and delivering heroin, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.  The men are being held at the Brunswick County Detention Facility, each under a $1.2 million secured bond.

Drug agents were out for several hours Wednesday morning for the conclusion of the operation, Flax said. Two other men were also arrested Wednesday at separate homes on Hale Swamp Road, including 64-year-old George Henry Hill and 42-year-old Terry Lazel Sapp.

The investigations that led to the arrest of Hill and Sapp were based off previous controlled drug purchases, Flax said. Agents seized 30 bags of heroin from Hill’s home at the time of his arrest.

Sapp was charged with two counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver heroin and two counts of selling or delivering heroin. Hill was charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver heroin and delivering heroin. Sapp and Hill were each booked under $1 million secured bonds.

While the focus of the operation was on heroin, the drug unit will continue to train future efforts on eradication of the drug, Flax said. More than 70 were arrested during the operation and detectives seized more than 1,500 bags of heroin.

“Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram would like to assure the community that even though this operation is complete, the primary mission and focus of the Brunswick County Drug Enforcement Unit is heroin,” Flax said. “Sheriff Ingram would also like to thank the community for all of the tips and leads that were communicated with the sheriff’s office, which directly led to many of these arrests.”

Seven people are still wanted on various drug charges, Flax said. Those suspects include:

  • Jermaine Wrathel Bland, 23, of Hale Swamp Road, who is wanted on charges of five counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver heroin and five counts of selling and delivering heroin.
  • Lashawn Ravon Bland, 21, of Hale Swamp Road, is wanted on three counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver crack cocaine, and three counts of selling and delivering cocaine.
  • Donald D. Weston, 35, of Rounding Run in Shallotte, is wanted on charges of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin and conspiracy to sell and deliver heroin.
  • Zachary Ryan Creech, 23, of Owendon Drive in Shallotte, is wanted on charges of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin , selling and delivering heroin, and conspiracy to sell or deliver heroin.
  • Adam Christopher Bias, 24, of Owendon Drive in Shallotte, is wanted on charges of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin, selling and delivering heroin and conspiracy to sell and deliver heroin.
  • Jawon Makiak McNeal, 20, of Hale Swamp Road, is wanted on two counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin, and two counts of selling and delivering heroin.

Anyone with information about any these wanted individuals or their whereabouts is asked to contact the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office at 910-253-2777 or call 911.

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