Local News

Durham officers arrest 24 people in two-day sting

Posted September 15, 2008
Updated April 20, 2009

Editor's Note: Charges against Scott Alan Scurfield were dismissed on Dec. 18, 2008, and his record has since been expunged.

DURHAM – Durham police arrested 24 people during a two-day citywide operation targeting prostitution and drug sales.

Officers from HEAT 3 (District 3 High Enforcement Abatement Team) organized the operation with assistance from the Selective Enforcement Team and patrol officers.

The first part of the operation, which was conducted Friday, focused on prostitution/escort services advertised on Craigslist. The operation targeted the escorts, as well as their customers, police said.

Officers made the following arrests:

  • Garry Kiesler, 45, of Fuquay-Varina was charged with soliciting prostitution and soliciting crimes against nature.
  • Brooks McCuen, 61, of Durham was charged with soliciting prostitution.
  • Shawn Whitfield, 36, of Raleigh was charged with soliciting prostitution.
  • Jeffrey Lepper, 46, of Angier was charged with soliciting prostitution and soliciting crimes against nature.
  • Norman H. McHenry, 55, of Wilson was charged with soliciting prostitution and soliciting crimes against nature.
  • Alec Paul Ptasinski, 36, of Fuquay-Varina was charged with soliciting prostitution and soliciting crimes against nature.
  • Jacqueline D. Adams, 19, of Durham was charged with soliciting prostitution.
  • Scott Alan Scurfield, 45, of Cary was charged with soliciting crimes against nature.
  • Misty Farnell Melby, 22, of Raleigh was charged with soliciting prostitution and soliciting crimes against nature.
  • James C. Nevious, 35, of Knightdale was charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy.

Friday night, officers made four arrests in the 2500 block of Shirley Street and confiscated cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, cash, two vehicles and a gun.

The following people were arrested on Shirley Street:

  • Leryan Ishmael Scarlett, 24, of Durham was charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy.
  • Michael Brooks, 16, of Durham was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and conspiracy.
  • Jamarcus V. Umstead, 23, of Burlington was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and driving without a license.
  • Stevon Gerred Riley, 28, of Durham was charged with possession of cocaine and ecstasy with the intent to sell or deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

On Saturday, officers made 10 arrests during buy-bust operations in areas where officers had received complaints about drug sales. Officers confiscated heroin, cocaine, marijuana and Percocet and made the following arrests: 

  • Tyquon Lynch, 18, of Durham was arrested in the 900 block of Elizabeth Street and charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver, sale and delivery of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Robert Bright, 20, of Durham was arrested in the 900 block of Elizabeth Street and charged with possession of marijuana.
  • Demarceo Bumpers, 29, of Durham was arrested in the 700 block of Liberty Street and charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver, sale and delivery of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Bonnie Dennis Smith, 48, of Durham was arrested in the 700 block of Liberty Street and charged with disorderly conduct.
  • Alfonso J. Smith, 20, of Durham was arrested on Dorothy Drive and charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver sale and delivery of cocaine and marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Mark Anthony Ellis, 22, of Durham was arrested on Dorothy Drive and charged with trespassing.
  • Jonathan Munn, 21, of Durham was arrested at Holloway Street and Hyde Park Avenue and charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver.
  • Thomas Carr, 37, of Durham was arrested in the 1000 block of Holloway Street and charged with trafficking heroin, possession of heroin with the intent to sell or deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Demario Richardson, 25, of Durham was arrested in the 1700 block of Palmer Street and charged with possession of marijuana.
  • Tahron Gibbs, 28, of Durham was arrested on Atka Court and charged with possession of powder cocaine, crack cocaine and Percocet with the intent to sell or deliver.
22 Comments

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  • yukonjohn3 Sep 16, 2008

    Good job, you got these dangerous criminals off the street. Just another example of how failed our naitonal drug policy is. As far as the prostitution goes, well, enough said, it is the oldest profession in the world and should be legal everywhere!!!

  • 68_polara Sep 16, 2008

    Great job guys! But please don't be discouraged if you see them back on the street the next day.

  • chargernut69 Sep 16, 2008

    ....isn't Durham a great place to live!

  • so you dont like my opinion ok Sep 16, 2008

    I am happy to see that Durham is working on drug issues, there is a huge problem with drugs and I wish that all cities would get a grip on it, good job guys, now keep the good work up.....

  • johnny2times Sep 16, 2008

    Good job guys and ladies!

  • familyfour Sep 16, 2008

    Just wondering b/c I have read charges before in the paper where I know a child was involved, and have seen it listed this way. Solicitation of an adult is heinous. Solicitation of a child....ungodly...I personally think there is a difference, or at least there should be. Children are totally incapable of defending themselves. Just my .02 cents.

  • mpheels Sep 16, 2008

    Soliciting crimes against nature generally means soliciting a person of the same gender and/or soliciting for "non-traditional" acts if you get my drift... It's interesting to see those charges since the Supreme Court has already made it clear that they are unconstitutional, and NC is one of only 7 states that still has the laws on the books. Solicitation is solicitation, and illegal regardless, so there's really no need to throw in the crimes against nature part as it only adds fuel to the appeals fire.

  • familyfour Sep 16, 2008

    Does "soliciting crimes against nature" mean that they were soliciting children?

    Good thing they were caught, bad thing they will be back on the streets tomorrow, and back in business.

  • copforlife Sep 16, 2008

    FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • headlong Sep 16, 2008

    I would and did assume the first 2 women in the first group...one 19 and other 22...that were charged with "soliciting prostitution" were the prostitudes No???

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