Saturday, February 5, 2011

Four arrests in drug raid where 3 officers injured

By Lindell Kay, Jacksonville Daily News

Three men and a teenager were charged Saturday in connection to the serving of a no-knock search warrant Friday in the Georgetown area in which three law enforcement officers were injured.
Robert Earl Betney Jr., 16, of Georgetown Road, was charged with resisting an officer. He is accused of not following an officer’s instructions during the serving of the search warrant. His bond was set at $1,000.
Anthony J. Wigfall, 32, and Lawrence Hughes, 32, both of Georgetown Road, were charged with possession of marijuana, manufacturing marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. They are accused of possessing two and three bags of marijuana, respectively, according to warrants.
Hughes was also charged with maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance for allegedly selling marijuana out of 217A Georgetown Road.
Bond was set at $25,000 for Wigfall and $35,000 for Hughes.
Outstanding warrants were also served on Christopher G. Cherico, 23, of Running Root Lane in Maysville, who is accused of possession of stolen goods and obtaining property by false pretense. He is accused of selling copper and brass that belonged to the Maysville Garment Factory to a salvage yard in October.
During the 6 p.m. search of Hughes’ home, Onslow County Sheriff’s deputies were attacked by two pit bulls.
“As soon as the door opened the dogs were on the officers,” said Sheriff Ed Brown, adding that the deputies refrained from firing at the dogs until they were very close because there were about a dozen people in the house, including children.
As one of the dogs bit into a deputy’s leg, that deputy shot the animal in the head, with the .45-caliber bullet traveling through the animal and through the deputy’s foot, shattering bones, Brown said.
A second deputy was hit in the right shin by bullet shrapnel and a Jacksonville police officer injured his knee during a scuffle with a suspect, Brown said.
He said all three law enforcement officers were released from Onslow Memorial Hospital by Saturday morning. Brown would not release their names.
“I thank the Lord all three officers went home on their own power,” Brown said, adding his deputies should be back to work in a limited capacity in four to six weeks.
The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation spent several hours at the scene early Saturday morning and Onslow County Animal Control removed the dog carcass Saturday afternoon.
Wigfall’s criminal history includes convictions on drug counts, larceny, break-ins and common law robbery, according to the N.C. Department of Correction.
Hughes’ criminal history includes possession of stolen goods, break-ins and communicating threats, according to the N.C. DOC.
“Anyone who would say drug use is a victimless crime is not looking at the big picture,” Brown said. “More than 80 percent of the crimes that occur in Onslow County are drug-related. Drugs hurt the user, the user’s family, the people the user steals from to support their habit and society that has to pay for health care and incarceration of offenders.”

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