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Three charged with heroin trafficking

Holland
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Christopher Holland

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Staton
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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office continued its crackdown on heroin trafficking with three recent arrests.

Christopher Holland and Amy Lynn Utley, both 32 and of Bailey, were charged with two counts each of trafficking heroin and each given $250,000 bonds.

Antoine Staton, 31, of Rocky Mount, was charged with two counts of trafficking heroin, possession of a firearm by a felon and possessing a stolen firearm. He was given a $225,000 bond.

Edgecombe County Sheriff Clee Atkinson said cooperation with other agencies is key to fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic in the community.

"Aggressive enforcement combined with recovery and mental health initiatives such as our C.O.R.E. program are a pathway to making an impact to curbing this epidemic," he said.

Holland and Utley were stopped in their vehicle on Cokey Road by narcotics investigators with the Sheriff’s Office and other members of the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force.

Holland was driving the vehicle. A search of the vehicle uncovered more than 300 bags of heroin packaged for sale. The heroin was located under the passenger seat where Utley was sitting, according to deputies.

Staton was arrested at his new address on N.C. 43 near SouthWest Edgecombe High School.

Deputies determined Staton moved to the address within the past two weeks and was selling heroin out of the residence, Atkinson said.

Staton made the move after deputies had arrested several people near his previous residence on Clark Street in Rocky Mount. A search of the Pinetops residence resulted in the seizure of approximately 250 individual bags of heroin and an additional four grams of raw, unpackaged heroin.

Stamps and other paraphernalia showed that Staton was using this residence to package and process the heroin for sale. The street value of the heroin seized is $6,000, Atkinson said.

"Also seized was a stolen 9mm handgun," Atkinson said. "This handgun was reported stolen to the Tarboro Police Department three weeks ago."

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