The formation of the Down East Task Force in November comes at a time when violent crimes have been escalating in all three counties over the past year, Lieutenant A.J. Thomas of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Many of the crimes reported in the three counties, Thomas said this afternoon, are tied to the drug problem and “most of our frequent fliers are back and forth between county lines.”
The task force includes the Ahoskie Police Department and sheriff’s offices of Bertie, Hertford and Northampton, Thomas said in the statement.
Thomas said other investigations are under way.
“The Down East Drug Task Force was created to take a proactive approach to combating offenses relating to the escalating violence associated with drugs, guns, and gang violence,” Thomas said in the statement. “Ongoing investigations have shown that the violent crimes in these three counties are related and those people who commit these crimes often cross county lines. Implementing this task force allows the three counties to maximize their workforce to suppress and dismantle drug organizations operating inside and outside of these three counties through partnerships with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.”
District Attorney Valerie Asbell said in the statement, “I worked eleven years with the Roanoke Chowan Drug Task Force and I know from first hand experience that collaborative efforts stop crime.
“People who commit crimes do not have jurisdictional borders; therefore, when departments pool their resources, it makes our communities a safer place to live. With the rise of violent crime in the past year, I commend the sheriffs and chief of police for taking a stand against this violence by working together.”
The arrests made by the task force since its inception include assistance from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement.
Kevin Earl Elrod, 33, of Faison Road, Garysburg, was arrested on January 11 for possession of marijuana.
He has a March 21 court date.
Donnell Lee Jr., 39, of Oak Drive, Lewiston, was arrested on December 14 after the execution of a search warrant at his residence.
Lee was charged with trafficking heroin, trafficking cocaine and possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana.
George Stanley Bell, 61, of Woodard Road, Windsor, was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin after the execution of a search warrant at his residence.
Alvin McKinley Boone Jr., 24, of Highway 11, Lewiston, was arrested for trafficking heroin, possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana and various traffic related charges by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
He has multiple court dates scheduled for next month.
Patrick Dion Norman, 41, of Hill Street, Ahoskie, was arrested on December 8 after the execution of a search warrant at his residence.
Norman was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, possession of a firearm by a felon, maintaining a dwelling, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He has a February 21 court date.
Logan Ryan Demkow, 21, of Covington Street, Asheville, was charged on November 11 with possession of marijuana.
Nickolas Harris, 21, of Barfield Road, Eure, was arrested on January 6 for possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin, maintaining a vehicle, and possession of marijuana.
He has a January 31 court date.
Ikeshawn Tyrell Bynum, 27, of Roger Street, Ahoskie, was arrested and charged for possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving while license revoked.
He has a February 28 court date.
Marquis Devonne Bell, 22, of Hill Street, Ahoskie, was arrested for possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He has court dates in February and March.
Stephanie Dawn Ayers, 37, of Highway 561, Cofield, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin, possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, and maintaining a vehicle.
She has a January 31 court date.
Gregory Jaquawn Bardlavens, 36, of Richard Street, Winton, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin, maintaining a vehicle, and possession of cocaine,
He has multiple court dates this month, February and March.