Traffic stop nets 9 pounds of heroin


Sampson County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Captain Eric Pope said a deputy stopped a Dodge Stratus on Interstate 40 near the 351 mile marker for a traffic violation.

Pope said during the stop, 9.1 pounds of heroin were found in a suitcase in the vehicle. The drugs have an estimated street value of about $720,000.

According to Pope, the passenger of the vehicle, Raphael Walter Rogers, 59, of Wilmington, claimed possession of the heroin.

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

Rogers is charged with trafficking heroin by possession and trafficking heroin by transport. Bond was set at $250,000.

Pope said the driver of the vehicle was given a traffic ticket but was released when it was determined she had no knowledge of the contents of the suitcase.

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