JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. — A popular longtime employee with the state Highway Patrol is in serious trouble. She's in the Johnston County Jail with her husband, charged with helping him run a drug ring. Now investigators are looking for the couple's son, whom they say is also part of the family drug business.
A cloud of confusion hangs over the state Highway Patrol Training Academy in Raleigh. People thought they knew Karen Spivey, a secretary at the academy for 23 years. Now, they're stunned to learn about what investigators say is her darker side -- a life of drugs and drug deals. "The patrol is saddened to hear it," said Lt. Everett Clendenin, of the Highway Patrol. "It's an embarrassment to us. We're confident it didn't happen at the workplace; it all happened off-duty. Still sad to hear about this."
"It was not about the organization," said Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell. "It was about a bad apple in the box. We removed that bad apple. That bad apple now resides in the Johnston County Jail."
Spivey was arrested Thursday night at her Johnston County home with her husband, Doug Spivey. The drug raid was several weeks in the making.
Johnston County detectives say the couple ran a cocaine ring -- buying the drugs from John and Denita Cox, in Cleveland, N.C. After taking a cut for family use, investigators say the Spiveys sold the drugs to two street dealers -- 23-year-old William Nakutis and 20-year-old Robert Seekins. Detectives say the group ran the ring for years.
Bizzell said while Johnston County detectives were at the Spiveys' home, several people showed up to buy more drugs. That's why the investigation continues. Bizzell said more arrests could come -- including the Spiveys' son Adam, who's wanted for his role in the family business.
When detectives served the warrants Thursday night, they say they found drugs, cash and 13 weapons. Doug Spivey is being held on $2 million bond. His wife, Karen, has a $51,000 bond. She is on paid leave from the Highway Patrol.