96lbs of pot and counterfeit items seized in Sanford

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Monday, July 24, 2017
96 pounds of pot was found (image courtesy Sanford Police Department)
96 pounds of pot was found (image courtesy Sanford Police Department)

SANFORD, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The Sanford Police Department says it has arrested two people after a joint investigation with state and federal officials that uncovered a large amount of marijuana and counterfeit merchandise.

Police officers along with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and NC Department of the Secretary of State began the case after getting tips about possible drug activity and the sale of fake brand name goods.

Agents intercepted a shipment of the counterfeit merchandise and got a search warrant for a home in the 500 block of Summit Drive.

Inside, they found more fake goods along with 96 pounds of marijuana in numerous stages of packaging and repackaging.

The counterfeit merchandise ranged from Nike shoes to Gucci apparel, handbags and sunglasses.

Gregory Alexander Johnson, 44, and Stephanie Lakia Evans, 40, were both charged with trafficking in marijuana by possession, felony possession of marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for keeping and selling a controlled substance, possession with intent to sell counterfeit merchandise greater than $10,000, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gregory Alexander Johnson and Stephanie Lakia Evans (images courtesy Sanford Police Department)

"This case demonstrates the importance of cooperation between different agencies in order to effectively enforce state and federal laws. In addition to the large drug seizure, the seizure of such a large amount of counterfeit merchandise helps protect local merchants and consumers from being victimized," said Sanford Police Chief Ronnie Yarborough.

Some of the counterfeit merchandise (image courtesy Sanford Police Department)

Police said the street value of the counterfeit merchandise is estimated to be $46,250, and the street value of the marijuana at $435,449. $75,321 in cash was also seized.