Law officers bust 3 in drug operation, seize meth

From left, Arturo Morales-Pena, Felicia Laurin McNeill, Mayra Alexandra Ramirez (Sanford Police Department)

A multi-agency investigation that began in 2015 has culminated in the arrest of three people and the seizure of nearly 1,000 grams of methamphetamine.

In May 2015, the Chatham County Sheriffs Office intercepted more than a pound of crystal methamphetamine. Soon, parallel investigations by Chatham County deputies and Sanford Police became a joint investigation of a drug trafficking operation.

From December 2016 until January 19, undercover agents purchased approximately 260 grams from Arturo Morales-Pena of Broadway, and a co-conspirator, Felicia Laurin McNeill of Sanford, according to Sanford Police.

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Morales-Pena, 37, of the 20 block of Stacy Lane, was arrested and faces nine counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, two counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamines, two counts conspiracy to sell methamphetamine, one count sell methamphetamine, one count sell methamphetamine, four count maintaining a vehicle and three counts of drug paraphernalia. At the time of his arrest Pena was in possession of 140 grams of methamphetamine.

McNeill, 24, of the 1100 block of Haw Branch Road faces three counts of trafficking methamphetamine, two counts conspiracy to traffic, two counts of selling methamphetamine, two counts possession with intent to sell methamphetamine, two counts conspiracy to sell, and two counts possession of drug paraphernalia.

Mayra Alexandra Ramirez, 24, of the 500 block of Forrest Ridge Drive, was also charged with one count of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine.

Morales-Pena is being held in the Lee County Jail under a $1 million secured bond. McNeill is being held under a $400,000 secured bond, and Ramirez received a $50,000 secured bond.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Harnett County Sheriffs Office and Homeland Security also participated in the investigation.

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