Local News

Man charged with trafficking $720K of heroin

Posted August 25, 2010 10:39 a.m. EDT
Updated August 25, 2010 10:55 a.m. EDT

— Sampson County deputies say they caught a 59-year-old Wilmington man trafficking $720,000 worth of heroin along Interstate 40.

Raphael Walters Rogers was arrested after a traffic stop at mile marker 351 in Clinton Monday.

Deputies said they found 9.1 pounds of heroin in a suitcase in the Dodge Stratus in which he was riding. There were 12,000 dosage units of heroin, worth about $60 a piece, investigators said.

"This is one of the largest heroin seizures in southeastern North Carolina," Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said in a release. "I'm just thankful we were able to prevent this highly dangerous drug from hitting the streets and causing harm to someone."

Rogers was charged with trafficking heroin by possession and trafficking heroin by transport. He was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under a $250,000 bond. His first court date was set for Sept. 3.

Investigators said they determined that the driver, Sherri Michelle Gore, did not know about the suitcase's contents. She was cited for driving with a revoked license and an expired registration.

State Department of Correction records show that Rogers finished a three-month jail sentence and went on probation in June for a felony drug possession conviction. He served a six-year prison sentence in the 1990s for drug-trafficking convictions.

DOC records state that his criminal record dates to 1977 and also includes a firearms conviction in New York and a drug conviction in New Jersey.