State lab determines powder found during New Hanover bust not fentanyl


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The nearly 13 pounds of a white powdery substance found during a search of a home in New Hanover County is not fentanyl, as originally thought.

“If you can’t tell flour from a drug something ain’t right,” Charles Batts said.

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Batts is one of the people in jail for what was called one of the biggest fentanyl busts in North Carolina.

On July 11, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Gang Task Force executed a search warrant for 1408 Kornegay Avenue.

“Our CSI will kind of garb up and put all their stuff on. They’ll take anything that we suspect may be fentanyl, take it back to our lab and they will do what we call a field test on it,” Sheriff Ed McMahon said.

That’s where detectives found the white substance and heroin. According to a news release, the drugs were seized and taken to the CSI lab where multiple field tests were performed and positively indicated the powder was fentanyl.

Sheriff Ed McMahon spoke with District Attorney Ben David and requested a rush analysis be performed at the state lab.

The Sheriff’s Office says the results of the tests indicated the white powdery substance was not fentanyl.

The investigation is ongoing to determine what the powdery substance consists of.

“I am currently evaluating our testing of fentanyl. Until this is completed we will be sending all suspected fentanyl to a lab before charging,” said Sheriff McMahon in a news release. “Additionally, I have ordered that all pending fentanyl cases be sent to a lab for conclusive testing. I have also spoken with our DA’s office in reference to the individuals charged in this case.”

Batts couldn’t believe it when they said he had fentanyl.

“Well when the people said they seen it, it was like a big container, I said ‘yeah it’s flour. Cooking flour.’ And I don’t know where they got Fentanyl from. And now it makes me look so like I’m the worst person in the world I guess cause that’s a lot of fentanyl. I couldn’t afford that much fentanyl,” Batts said.

William McIntire, Charles Batts, and Wanda Moore were inside the home during the search. They were arrested on a variety of drug charges.

The District Attorney’s office dismissed some of the charges against them and now this changes how the sheriff’s office handles these cases.

“So what we’re doing now, is we’re not going to do anymore testing of anything that may be fentanyl. We are going to send that out to a lab that can give us conclusive tests before we charge anybody with fentanyl,” McMahon said.