NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Following an investigation, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man they say was trafficking large quantities of heroin and other drugs into the county from New Jersey.
During November, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Vice-Narcotics Detectives conducted an investigation of Shawqi Rahim Gray, 36. Gray was suspected of trafficking large quantities of heroin into New Hanover County from New Jersey. Detectives also learned Gray is a convicted felon and is wanted out of Easton, Pennsylvania for the crimes of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and heroin. During the course of the investigation, Detectives were led to 2702 Oleander Drive where a search warrant of the residence was conducted.
“This is the largest seizure of heroin and fentanyl that we’ve ever seized,” said New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon.
The execution of the search warrant on November 30, yielded:
-393.15 grams of raw heroin (equivalent of approximately 19,000 bags of heroin)
-803 bags of heroin ready for sale and or delivery
-110 grams of fentanyl (used as a cutting or mixing agent for heroin)
-8.5 grams of cocaine
-10 grams of marijuana
-5 firearms (two of the firearms were reported as stolen)
-$47,390.00 in US currency
Detectives additionally found thousands of empty wax bags with various stamps along with 78.4 grams of another unknown cutting agent used for manufacturing heroin.
“Majority of those bags are empty. You figure, each one of those bags goes anywhere from $10 to $20, so this could be up to $1 million seizure on the street, once it was all mixed,” said Sheriff McMahon.
Sheriff McMahon says the fentanyl that drug dealers lace heroin with is very dangerous and that’s why this bust is such a big deal. “To be able to get this off of the street, the drug unit just did a great job. I’m very proud of them. Just one grain, again, one grain of the fentanyl can kill you.”
Gray was taken to the New Hanover County Detention Facility and charged with the following:
-2 counts of trafficking heroin or opium (trafficking by possession and manufacturing)
-Possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin
-Maintaining a dwelling for illegal controlled substances
-Possession of firearm by a convicted felon
-2 counts of possession of a stolen firearm
-Simple possession of Schedule VI controlled substance
-Possession of drug paraphernalia
In addition, Gray was served with the active warrant from Pennsylvania. Gray is currently awaiting trial at the New Hanover County Detention Facility under a $10 million secured bond.
This latest investigation continues local authorities’ ongoing fight against the opioid crisis.
“We’re gonna continue working together with all the agencies, with all the federal agencies, with Wilmington Police Department and we’re gonna go after the drug dealers,” said Sheriff McMahon. He says more arrests could be coming soon.