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Fifteen Goodyear employees charged after undercover drug raid

Posted March 30, 2010
Updated March 31, 2010

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— Narcotics agents arrested more than a dozen employees at the Goodyear tire plant in Fayetteville Tuesday evening as a result of an undercover sting operation.

Bust at Fayetteville Goodyear plant nets drugs, arrests Bust at Fayetteville plant nets drugs, arrests

Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler said investigators began investigating after Goodyear corporate executives tipped them off.

"We got leads they were bringing drugs into the plant,” Butler said.

Since last August, undercover narcotics agents have been able to purchase marijuana, cocaine and numerous prescription drugs from employees inside the Ramsey Street plant, investigators said.

Fifteen employees were arrested:

  • Christopher Ward, 25, 6607 Blake Road in Stedman, was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana and maintaining a vehicle for the sale and delivery of marijuana, a total of seven felony charges. Bond for Ward was set at $500.
  • Michael Fricks, 39, of 783 Hedgelawn Way in Fayetteville, was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana and maintaining a dwelling for the sale and delivery of marijuana, a total of eight felony charges. He was being held under an $8,000 bond on Tuesday.
  • Ronald Sulser, 57, of 127 Treetop Drive in Fayetteville, was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, a total of three felony charges. He was being held under a $10,000 bond on Tuesday.
  • Robert Thurman was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and trafficking opium by sale and delivery, nine felony charges.
  • Christopher Shirley, 26, of 203 Mile Court in Fayetteville, was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, sale and delivery of marijuana, three felony charges. He was being held under a $5,000 bond on Tuesday.
  • Jeffrey Whitt, 39, of 210 Gore Road in Shannon, was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, a total of three felony charges. He was being held under a $15,000 bond on Tuesday.
  • Mary Stone, 24, of 3511Greenwood Drive in Fayetteville, was charged with trafficking, delivering and selling opium and possession with intent to sell and deliver opiates, a total of six felony charges. She was being held under a $14,000 bond.
  • Tony McKoy, 46, 2015 Poinciana Lane in Fayetteville, was charged with trafficking, selling and delivering opium, three felony charges. He was being held under an $5,000 bond on Tuesday.
  • Larry Abrams, 29, of 6069 Charles Ave. in Fayetteville, was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, three felony charges. He was being held under a $6,000 bond on Tuesday.
  • Gloria Locklear, 43, of 3922 Constance Road in Hope Mills, was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, three felony charges. She was being held under a $5,000 bond on Tuesday.
  • Joseph Brown, 42, of 7039 Old U.S.-421 in Lillington, was charged with trafficking, possession, delivery and selling opium and conspiracy, a total of four felony charges. He was being held under a $13,000 bond on Tuesday.
  • Almadie Allison Whitt, 37, of 210 Gore Road in Shannon, was charged with trafficking, possession, delivery and sale of opium and conspiracy, a total of four felony charges.She was being held under a $6,000 bond on Tuesday.
  • William Beckham III, 28, 1140 Acorn St. in Fayetteville, was charged with possession with the intent to sell and deliver Ecstasy a total of three felony counts. He was being held under a $10,000 bond on Tuesday.
  • Dachonne Moorehead, 29, of 93 Lindley Court in Cameron, was charged with trafficking, possession, delivery and sale of cocaine and trafficking by transport of cocaine as well as conspiracy, a total of five felony charges. He was being held under a $7,000 bond on Tuesday.
  • Michael McKethan, 29, of 2745 Coronada Parkway, Fayetteville, was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana.

A warrant was issued for William Chad Devotie, who is not employed by Goodyear, who is charged with trafficking cocaine, possession, sale and delivery of cocaine and trafficking by transport and conspiracy. Investigators said he was supplying drugs to Goodyear employees. Devotie remained at large on Tuesday.

Leroy Morel, a Goodyear employee for 18 years, said Tuesday that he has seen drug use at the plant.

"Managers do let it go,” he said.

Morel said drug dealing on the job was well known.

"You tell the supervisors, ‘You need to get this guy outta here.’ And you tell the union, ‘You need to get this guy outta here, because he is going to get somebody hurt,’" he said.

Vickie Faircloth, a 15-year plant employee, said she too knew of drug activity at the plant.

"I have heard a lot of rumors,” she said.

Butler said the investigation is ongoing, and Goodyear has been cooperative during the undercover operation.

"They have allowed us to do and work within the plant to bring an end to this,” he said.

Goodyear Plant Manager Tim Frosell said the company was grateful to the sheriff's department for its investigation.

“The health and safety of all associates is our top priority, and we will not tolerate any illegal activity in the workplace," Frosell said in a written statement.

All of the suspects arrested Tuesday were transported to the Cumberland County Detention Center for processing.

107 Comments

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  • esprg Apr 1, 11:38 a.m.

    Sounds like 15 new jobs just opened!

  • paddie Mar 31, 7:42 p.m.

    pclong, they began drug testing new hires, I believe in the mid to late 1990's. Since you were already working there, you wouldn't have been tested unless you were involved in a plant accident or shown up for work obviously on something.

  • pclong2214 Mar 31, 6:44 p.m.

    pumpingiron, what drug testing? iwas there 32 years and never tested for drugs.

  • Barely Mar 31, 6:35 p.m.

    I guess they got tired of having jobs. It's not going to be a good year for these guys. Looks their plans went flat. I hope the company can keep rolling.

  • pumpingiron Mar 31, 5:37 p.m.

    This is not a suprise to me being a former Goodyear employee. If they keep searching they will find that it much deeper than they think. During my time there the drug testing procedures were changed several times by the corporate heads. Each time it changed it became easier to pass the testing. And as far as the managers turning their heads the other way, this is true. I was a manager and when I would report someone to my manager he would just ignore it and say not to worry about it. In fact while I was in manager training the instructor told the entire class that most of the corporate employees could not pass a drug test if their lives depended on it. Hence the ever changing drug testing procedures.

  • Big Mike Mar 31, 5:29 p.m.

    Is that why my back left Goodyear Wrangler goes.... Whap Whap Whap..down the road when I'm driving?....drives me nuts....

  • Moonshadow Mar 31, 4:43 p.m.

    I'll bet there will be a line of people applying for the new jobs available. How stupid can they be? Yes, I smoke a little weed---AT HOME! You should never bring "home to work", and never bring "work home".

  • Joani P. Mar 31, 3:36 p.m.

    So now it's up to 15 people gone, WOW! maybe more to come?

  • vsusu2002 Mar 31, 3:29 p.m.

    I meant to say 15 job openings.

  • vsusu2002 Mar 31, 3:28 p.m.

    Wow, in these tough economic times, why would someone want to deal or sale drugs on their jobs. Jobs are difficult to come around now a days. Well, for individuals looking for a job, Goodyear has 14 openings.

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