An eastern Lincoln County man is accused of possessing more than 50 bags of heroin inside his vehicle Tuesday night, deputies said.
Narcotics investigators stopped Nicholas William Moore’s vehicle around 8:30 p.m. as he was traveling down N.C. 16, north of Gaston County, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.
The white powder heroin, separated into 51 individual plastic bags, rested in plain sight inside the vehicle as narcotics investigators approached the scene, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies estimated the combined weight of the substance to be near 5 grams and a street value to be between $800 and $1,600, depending on how it’s packaged and sold.
The 21-year-old driver, a resident of 4319 Sailview Drive in Denver, was charged in the incident with one felony count each of trafficking in heroin, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a schedule I controlled substance and maintaining a dwelling/vehicle for a controlled substance.
Deputies filed an additional misdemeanor charge against Moore for possession of a schedule II controlled substance.
The suspect has since posted a $40,000 bond and been released from the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center.
Over the last three years, officers said they have continued to apprehend drug suspects traveling down N.C. 16 and U.S. 321, two popular highways connecting Lincoln to surrounding counties.
In an agency press release issued Wednesday afternoon, Lt. Jason Reid, head of the Narcotics Unit, referred to both roadways as a “pipeline for controlled substances to and through Lincoln County.”
In addition, he noted every heroin offender investigators have stopped and arrested along N.C. 16 since 2010, when Sheriff David Carpenter took office, has come from the Charlotte area.
Because drug offenders are using N.C. 16 to bring heroin into parts of northern and eastern Lincoln County along with Maiden and other locations throughout Catawba County, Reid said, deputies have joined with Maiden police and the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office on multiple investigations regarding the drug.
Along with white powder heroin, deputies have encountered the “black tar” variety in the area.
A 2011 survey the National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted found that more than 4 million Americans over age 12 had tried heroin and that nearly a quarter of people who used the drug became dependent on it.