Two out-of-county men are being held under a $1 million bond apiece after deputies said they located two kilos of cocaine inside their vehicle Thursday morning during a traffic stop on U.S. 321.
After seizing what Lincoln County Sheriff’s narcotics investigators have deemed the largest cocaine seizure this year, deputies arrested Clifton Eugene Mason, 30, of 2663 Twilight Drive in Claremont and Chad Bernard Beatty, 36, of 166 Ridge Valley Drive in Statesville.
Sheriff David Carpenter congratulated officers in a department press release for their persistence and expertise in stifling drug activity across the county.
“This clearly displays the extensive training our officers have received on how to spot drug traffickers and how to do it safely,” he said. “All our training is continuing to pay off with these arrests and seizures.”
While observing area traffic Thursday along the four-lane highway, deputies stopped the suspects’ suspicious-looking vehicle around 1:30 a.m. near Exit 20, the release said.
Officers located the significant amount of illegal drugs packed inside a duffel bag on the vehicle’s floorboard and also found a pistol, cash and minimal amount of marijuana, they said.
Depending on how the substance is sold, the kilos are worth between $60,000 and $200,000, narcotics officers told the Times-News.
During the vehicle search, one of the suspects attempted to flee the scene, but deputies apprehended him nearby, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Both men face two felony counts of trafficking in cocaine, one felony count each of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver cocaine and maintaining a vehicle/dwelling place for a controlled substance along with one misdemeanor charge for carrying a concealed weapon.
Mason faces an additional charge of resisting, delaying and obstructing a public officer; his counterpart is also accused of possession of marijuana.