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2 charged in Nash, Wilson drug probe

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BAILEY — Authorities say a multi-agency investigation led to two men’s arrests on drug charges following a raid on a Nash County home.

Costa Rontrell Pender, 28, is charged with four counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, possession of marijuana, five counts of maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance, three counts of selling and delivering cocaine, three counts of conspiracy to sell cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Capt. Jeff Boykin, who oversees the Wilson Police Department’s Special Operations Division.

On Oct. 2, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office and Wilson Police Department executed a search warrant at 13919 Old Smithfield Road east of Bailey.

Authorities obtained the warrant after receiving multiple complaints about activity at the home, Chief Deputy Brandon Medina of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

Authorities seized more than 15 grams of crack cocaine, 8 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and more than $3,200, according to the release.

Pender, who is currently on federal probation in connection to a separate drug conviction, received a $100,000 secured bond on the Nash County charges and an additional $500,000 secured bond on additional charges filed Friday in Wilson, Boykin said.

Nash County officials said Costa’s federal probation officer was updated regarding the investigation and current arrest.

Since May, Nash County sheriff’s officials and Wilson police have been investigating Pender, who had been living at the Old Smithfield Road address, according to Boykin.

He said several controlled purchases were made from Pender and several “runners” including 40-year-old Eric Bryant High.

Boykin said Nash County deputies and Wilson police saw both men coming and going from the home conducting drug sales during an Oct. 2 surveillance operation.

“Units observed High meet with a buyer and make a sale, resulting in Nash County conducting a traffic stop on the buyer after the deal,” Boykin said. “The driver was found in possession of crack cocaine.”

Boykin said the driver also confirmed High was the person who sold him the crack cocaine. Arrest warrants were obtained on Pender and High, who were stopped Oct. 2 on N.C. 58 near Packhouse Road in Wilson after they left the Nash County home, Boykin said.

He said officials found a pill bottle containing crack and powder cocaine. Both men were arrested and taken back to the Bailey home where the search warrant was executed and other drugs were seized.

High is charged with two counts of selling and delivering cocaine, three counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, felony possession of cocaine and maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance. High received a $75,000 secured bond.

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the investigation.

“This is one example on how important our partnership with other agencies and teamwork is,” Boykin said. “We will continue our efforts to dismantle, disrupt and arrest those responsible for preying on the weak with illegal drugs. This was a great partnership by all three agencies and I commend the investigators involved.”