07/24/08 — Duplin cracking down on meth

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Duplin cracking down on meth

By Nelson Bland
Published in News on July 24, 2008 1:42 PM

KENANSVILLE -- One of the largest amounts of methamphetamines ever seized by the Duplin County Sheriff's Office was found earlier this month when deputies raided an Albertson residence, Duplin County Sheriff Blake Wallace announced Wednesday.

The large cache of meth was seized on July 7 at the home of Benito Rayo Zavala along N.C. 111 and 903 in Albertson.

Wallace explained that they found the 35 ounces of meth -- with a street value of $100,000 -- stashed in a plastic bag inside a circular-shaped picnic cooler that was buried in the ground at the residence.

Officers also seized drug paraphernalia (plastic bags and scales), $1,500 in cash and a rifle and a 9mm handgun.

Zavala was booked two tracks of trafficking in meth, possession of meth with intent to sell and deliver, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance, manufacture of meth, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Zavala, who Wallace said is an illegal alien, was jailed at the Duplin County Jail in Kenansville under bonds totaling $2 million.

In a separate incident on July 9, Wallace said an active meth lab was discovered by deputies and State Bureau of Investigation agents in a bedroom of a Faison area residence, leading to the arrest of two brothers.

The first, John Ashley Davis, 41, of Emmett Jackson Road, Faison, was arrested after his vehicle was stopped outside Mount Olive and deputies discovered that he was in possession of a box of pseudoephedrine pills, a common ingredient in meth, a glass "smoking pipe," and other prescription medication.

Then, following a search of Davis' home, deputies found other components of a meth lab.

Davis was booked on three counts of possession of precursors chemicals used in manufacturing methamphetamine, two counts of maintaining a dwelling/vehicle for a controlled substance, obtaining prescription drugs without a prescription, obtaining a controlled substance by forgery/fraud, possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and deliver, manufacture of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Davis was jailed at the Duplin County Jail under bonds totaling $1 million.

His brother, Kenneth Webster Davis, 45, King Road, Clinton, was booked for obstruction of justice by "attempting to dispose of evidencek," possession of methamphetamine, manufacture of methamphetamine, and three counts of possession and distribution of methamphetamine precursors.

A third incident reported Wednesday was the arrest of Emerton Rayo Morales, of L.G. Westbrook Lane, Albertson.

At the Morales residence, deputies seized $27,187 in cash, a "small amount" of meth, drug parahernalia, a shotgun, two rifles, and two handguns, one that turned out to have been stolen from Kinston.

Morales, an illegal alien, was booked on numerous drug and firearms charges, but the exact charges were not available since he was immediately taken into custody by U.S. Marshals.

because he was an illegal alien.

"We handed him right over to [the U.S. marshals], and in all likelihood, he will be tried in federal court," Wallace said.

Morales was jailed without bond, and other charges are pending, according to Wallace.