Sunday, May 22, 2022

Update: New Hanover Sheriff says 13 pounds of substance seized not actually fentanyl

Update: Last week the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office announced the seizure of nearly 13 pounds of fentanyl. Today the Office announced that was not the case.

The following is the release from the office, followed by the original article:

Gang Unit Detectives conducted an undercover drug investigation in which multiple undercover buys of heroin were purchased at this residence. Information was also received that fentanyl was at the residence. A search warrant was executed and detectives found heroin and a large amount of a white powdery substance. Everything was seized and taken to our CSI lab where multiple field tests were performed on the white powdery substance with a positive indication for fentanyl.

Due to the large amount of the substance, Sheriff McMahon spoke with DA Ben David and requested a rush analysis of the substance be performed at the state lab. Today we received the results of those tests which indicated the white powdery substance was not fentanyl. Our investigation is ongoing to determine what the powdery substance consists of. 

Sheriff McMahon stated,” I am currently evaluating our testing of fentanyl. Until this is completed we will be sending all suspected fentanyl to a lab before charging. Additionally, I have ordered that all pending fentanyl cases be sent to a lab for conclusive testing. I have also spoken with our DA’s office in reference to the individuals charged in this case.”

NEW HANOVER COUNTY—Nearly 13 pounds of fentanyl was found by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Gang Task Force during a search warrant Wednesday, the largest amount the county’s detectives have ever seized.

The operation resulted in three arrests, stemming from heroin, fentanyl and other illegal drugs found in a home in Creekwood North.

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New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon said the 12.7 pounds of fentanyl discovered. McMahon said it could be the largest amount seized in North Carolina.

“As far as we can tell this is one of the largest seizures in the state,” McMahon said at a press conference Friday. According to a New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office release, the fentanyl mixture has a $2 million street value.

A white, powdery substance, the opioid fentanyl is more powerful than heroin. In January, detectives seized 2.4 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill every man, woman and child in New Hanover County, twice. The amount seized this week could kill five times that many people.

The investigation took several months, and according to McMahon, is still ongoing. Though the Sheriff’s Office could not tie the dealers – William McIntire, Charles Batts and Wanda Moore – to active gang members, detectives confirmed the fentanyl was being sold to local gangs in the region.

In addition to the approximately 5,775 grams of fentanyl found at the Creekwood North home at 1408 Kornegay Ave, detectives located heroin, marijuana and drug paraphernalia during the search.

“When you think about this poison, this fentanyl, one grain can kill you,” MacMahon said. 

McMahon said his office believes the fentanyl is coming from Asia. Following this week’s arrests, the case has been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency for further investigation.

McIntire, Batts and Moore were all located at the Creekwood North residence while the Sheriff’s Office conducted its search warrant. They were arrested at the scene, sharing a total of 28 charges.

The charges can be reviewed below,

(From left to right) Charles Batts, William McIntire and Wanda Moore were arrested after a search warrant was conducted by the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy New Hanover County Sheriff's Office)
(From left to right) Charles Batts, William McIntire and Wanda Moore were arrested after a search warrant was conducted by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office)

William McIntire was charged with:

  • Possession of Marijuana up to ½ oz
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Maintaining Vehicle
  • Maintaining Dwelling
  • Manufacture Schedule II CS
  • Possess of heroin
  • Conspire traffic opium/heroin (2 counts)
  • Trafficking Opium/heroin (2 counts)
  • PWIMSD Schedule II CS
  • PWIMSD heroin

Charles Batts was charged with:

  • Possession of controlled substance in jail
  • Possess of heroin
  • Possession drug paraphernalia
  • Maintaining Dwelling
  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Possession of marijuana paraphernalia
  • Conspire traffic opium/heroin (2 counts)
  • PWIMSD Schedule II CS
  • Manufacture Schedule II CS
  • Trafficking Opium/heroin (2 counts)

Wanda Moore was charged with:

  • Maintaining Dwelling
  • Possess of heroin
  • Possession of Marijuana up to ½ oz
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Conspire traffic opium/heroin (2 counts)
  • Trafficking Opium/heroin (2 counts)
  • PWIMSD Schedule II CS
  • Manufacture Schedule II CS

Send tips to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com or follow Johanna on Twitter @j__ferebee

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