Man indicted on federal heroin, cocaine charges

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An Elm City man faces federal charges after sheriff’s deputies seized heroin, cocaine and cash from his home.

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 6310 Rock Quarry Road following an active investigation into illegal drug activity at the home, according to Wanda Samuel, sheriff’s office chief of staff.

When the Narcotics Division, Special Response Team and the K-9 unit approached the home to execute the search warrant, officials said the suspect, 25-year-old Tyrell Eliza Watson, ran out the back door in an attempt to destroy evidence.

Watson was subsequently arrested in his backyard while trying to flee the scene, Samuel said.

Detectives seized more than 190 bindles of heroin, more than 35 grams of cocaine and more than $5,900 in cash along with digital scales and packing material, the sheriff’s office said.

The case was turned over to federal authorities, and a federal grand jury in Greenville returned indictments charging Watson with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine base, and substantive distribution counts, as well as possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

If convicted of any of the heroin offenses, Watson could face up to 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and term of three years supervised release following any prison term.

If convicted of firearm offenses, Watson could face up to life imprisonment, $250,000 fine and up to five years supervised release following any prison term.

“The defendant (Watson) has an extensive criminal history of selling drugs in the community,” Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard said in a statement. “As long as he continues to distribute this poison in Wilson County, we will be there to arrest him. This should send a message to all drug dealers in Wilson County. The opioid epidemic will not take over our county and we will stand strong against it. This is our commitment to Wilson County.”