Local News

Sheriff: 'Major' cocaine dealer arrested after high-speed chase

Posted February 18, 2010 4:36 p.m. EST
Updated February 18, 2010 4:51 p.m. EST

— Sheriff James Knight said that a month-long investigation by the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office ended with a high-speed chase and the arrest of two suspected cocaine dealers Wednesday.

Adrian Lamont Kearney, 34, of 8721 Amaranth Lane in Ypsilanti, Mich., and Richard David Stewart, 35, of 4517 Martin Circle in Ayden, N.C., were both charged with two counts of trafficking crack cocaine and felony maintaining a vehicle for a contraband substance. Stewart was also charged with felony speeding to elude arrest and numerous other traffic infractions.

"These arrests stopped a large supply of crack cocaine from coming into the community," Knight said.

He described Kearney as "a major supplier of crack cocaine" to North Carolina and other states. Kearney recently served eight years for drug convictions in Indiana and also has prior drug arrests in North Carolina, Knight said.

Kearney and Stewart were arrested after a 3-mile chase on N.C. Highway 33, near Tarboro, that exceeded speeds of 100 mph at one point, the sheriff said. Deputies and state troopers deployed stop sticks, which deflate a vehicle's tires, and the suspects' 2002 Ford Windstar minivan crashed into a ditch. No one was injured.

Deputies seized $480 in cash and 122 grams of crack cocaine, with an estimated street value of more than $10,000, Knight said.

Both suspects were being held in the Edgecombe County jail Thursday. Kearney has a $1 million secured bond, and Stewart a $150,000 secured bond.

Knight thanked Edgecombe County residents "for their diligence in helping the sheriff's office rid the streets of illegal narcotics. A lot of what the sheriff's office does cannot be done without that assistance."