02/11/08 — N.C. Department of Justice employee arrested on drug charges

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N.C. Department of Justice employee arrested on drug charges

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on February 11, 2008 1:45 PM

A North Carolina Department of Justice employee and Goldsboro resident has been arrested and charged in Oklahoma City with two counts of drug trafficking.

Susan Gail Freeman, of Bennett Road, was working as a secretary in the Legal Services Division of the Attorney General's Office when she and Barbara Marie Cornell of Clayton were arrested at 10:06 a.m. on Feb. 3 on counts of trafficking marijuana and trafficking cocaine.

Driving a Saturn SUV with Nevada license plates, they were stopped on I-40 in Oklahoma City.

Sgt. Gary Knight, assistant public information officer for the police department, said he did not know why their vehicle was stopped -- only that they were stopped for a traffic violation by COMIT, the area's interagency drug squad.

Once stopped, though, he continued, the officers then "developed probable cause to search the vehicle."

But, he explained, because there was nothing on the arrest report to indicate that a warrant was obtained, the pair likely granted the officers permission to search the car.

"I imagine they obtained permission to search the vehicle," Knight said. "You'd be amazed how many people grant permission because they think if they do, then the police will just go away.

"But these guys don't just go away. Their primary function is to stop drug transport on the highways."

And upon searching the vehicle, the officers found more than 30 pounds of drugs stored in two cardboard boxes -- 31.5 pounds of marijuana, divided into 14 bundles, and 1.5 pounds of cocaine, divided into two bricks. They also seized two suitcases containing other evidence.

By Oklahoma City standards, Knight continued, it was a fairly small bust, but one they were pleased to get anyway.

"It was all bundled for transportation purposes so it could be distributed," he said. "Anytime you can get 33 pounds of drugs off the streets, that's a good thing."

He explained that because I-40, which runs coast-to-coast, and I-35, which runs basically from Mexico to Chicago, intersect in the middle of Oklahoma City, these types of busts are fairly routine.

"We have a crossroads here," he said. "Right where they meet is a real heavy drug trafficking area. They're not bound for here, they just pass through here."

Currently, Ms. Freeman, 41, and Ms. Cornell, 33, are still in the Oklahoma County Detention Center under $50,000 and $100,000 bonds, respectively.

Calls to the N.C. Attorney General's Office asking for comment on Ms. Freeman's arrest were not returned by press time. It is not clear if either woman had a prior criminal record.