Nine bricks of heroin seized in police raid

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Police say they’ve kept nine bricks of heroin off the streets with a Friday raid of a Wilson man’s home.

Officers in the Wilson Police Department’s Special Operations Division seized a large quantity of the potent drug while serving a search warrant on Mustafa Alsharief Lemons’ 509 Norfolk St. home, Capt. Kendra Howell said.

The nine bricks — 449 bindles — of heroin have a street value of roughly $4,500. Police also seized a small amount of marijuana, digital scales, ammunition and $674 in cash.

Police Chief Thomas Hopkins said Lemons’ arrest is “an example of citizen involvement and Wilson Police Department personnel working together to send a clear message that together, we will be vigilant in keeping our community safe.”

“Conducting search warrants on drug offenders is a proactive approach designed to reduce and stop the sale and distribution of heroin, opioids and other illegal drugs that destroy lives and communities,” Hopkins said in a statement to The Wilson Times. “Conflict will always exist, however; we will continue to design operational policies that seek to solve these types of drug issues in our community. Together with our citizens and good-faith efforts; the Wilson Police Department will continue to reduce and work hard to stop the negative effects of illegal drugs and violent activity in our community.”

Lemons was charged with maintaining a dwelling to keep and sell a controlled substance, felony possession of heroin, possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin and Level 1 trafficking of heroin.

He also was served with outstanding arrest warrants on charges of hit and run-leaving the scene of property damage and driving while license revoked, non-impairment revocation.

Magistrate Michael Smith ordered Lemons booked into the Wilson County Jail under a $50,000 secured bond. His first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

Heroin is an opiate whose users often begin with addictions to prescription opioid painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone. North Carolina saw more than 12,000 opioid-related overdose deaths from 199-2016, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Overdose deaths cost the state $1.3 billion in 2015 alone, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data states.

“Heroin is a dangerous drug that has had severe consequences in our community with overdoses and overdose deaths,” Howell said in a news release. “The Wilson Police Department is dedicated to improving the quality of life for our citizens we serve. Illegal drugs will not be tolerated and will be strictly enforced.”