The Durham County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of 36-year-old Christopher Valentine Clifton Monday.
Clifton faces three felony counts of trafficking opium or heroin and three counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a Schedule 2 controlled substance.
Investigators said Clifton managed an illegal operation that involved buying and selling highly addictive prescription pain medicine.
The sheriff's office said law enforcement is seeing more cases of illegal prescription drug sales and associated violent and property crimes.
It asked the public to properly secure prescription pain medicine at all times to help prevent theft by family members or strangers. Unused or unwanted prescription medications can also be disposed of at events such as Operation Medicine Drop or at the medicine drop box available at the Durham Police Department headquarters.