Local News

Warrants: Durham Deputy May Be Linked To Multiple Crimes

Posted October 19, 2006

— Alleged crimes with possible connections to a former Durham deputy appear to be growing, involving drugs, counterfeit cash, and prostitution.

Michael Owens, who was fired from the Durham County Sheriff's Office on Monday, was arrested on drug trafficking charges after a Friday raid of Owens' Roxboro St. club.

The FBI and Durham County Sheriff's Office had been watching the La Zona nightclub for about a month before the raid. Search warrants filed in the case detailed a history of alleged illegal transactions that took place inside the nightclub, including drug deals, weapons and human trafficking. Investigators said cocaine was found inside the club during the raid.

Confidential informants wore wires and secretly taped conversations with Owens before the raid. Durham County sheriff's investigators told WRAL that Owens discussed home invasions with their undercover source. They wouldn't say if he was plotting them, but said Owens implicated himself.

Documents also state Owens' hired a man named Floco to manage the bar -- a man known to law enforcement for his alleged involvement in multiple drug and counterfeit cash operations.

The documents also listed regular customers at LaZona who are suspected of involvement in several murder-for-hire plots.

Two other deputies, Keith Dodson and Brad King, worked off-duty security at La Zona and were fired along with Owens. They haven't been charged, but local and federal officers said charges could be filed against the pair.

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