Six month investigation leads to three arrested in Columbus County

Guns, cash and drugs captured. (Columbus County Sheriff's Office)

Hallsboro, NC (WWAY) – Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Unit completed a six month-long investigation into the distribution of Controlled Substances in the Hallsboro community of Columbus County. Columbus County Sheriff’s Office received multiple complaints in reference to the defendants in this investigation and their location of residence.

After an undisclosed number of undercover buys, Vice/Narcotics Detectives obtained a search warrant for 50 Oak Tree Street in Hallsboro. This morning, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Unit along with the assistance of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team executed a search warrant at the above stated address.

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Detectives also searched an out building adjacent to the primary residence. The out building was being utilized as living quarters by one of the defendants in this investigation. In the primary residence, detectives located cocaine, marijuana, a stolen firearm, and a large sum of cash.

The firearm was stolen from a Columbus County residence this month. In the out building, detectives located cocaine, marijuana, MDMA “ecstasy” tablets, Oxycodone tablets, two sets of digital scales, firearms, and a large sum of cash.

James Allen Bennett, also known as Stine, was residing inside of the out building. James had previously been convicted of felony drug charges. James’ mother, Estelle Bennett, also known as Queen Ester, was residing inside of the above stated residence. James’ seventeen year old son, Jaylon Bennett, was found to be in possession of the stolen firearm.

At the conclusion of the investigation, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Detectives charged the three defendants in this investigation for the above crimes. They were arrested and processed at the Columbus County Detention Center where they were incarcerated for the following charges:

James Allen Bennett faces 7 charges, 6 felonies and one misdemeanor relating to possession and selling several Schedule I and II level substance. He was incarcerated on a $140,000.00 secured bond.

Estelle Bennett is charged with two felony counts, Possession with the Intent to Manufacture, Sell, and/or Deliver Marijuana and Possession with the Intent to Manufacture, Sell, and/or Deliver Cocaine. Bennet was jailed on a $20,000.00 secured bond

Jaylon Maliek Bennett was charged with one felony count of Possession of a Stolen Firearm with a $10,000.00 secured bond.