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More than $218K in meth seized

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YOUNGSVILLE — Three men accused of selling drugs in Youngsville are facing felony drug charges after the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and state officials said they raided their homes and found more than $218,000 worth of methamphetamine.

The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation said its Alcohol Law Enforcement partnered with the sheriff’s office earlier this year to investigate the sale of narcotics in the parking lots of several Youngsville gas stations and convenience stores. The establishments — which all had ABC licenses, causing ALE to investigate — were not involved, according to SBI spokeswoman Erin Bean.

“Criminals use popular businesses as locations to discretely sell drugs and commit other crimes in the presence of innocent families everyday throughout North Carolina,” said Bryan House, acting head of ALE, in a statement. “We discovered people from out of the county were traveling in to sell substantial amounts of drugs in the parking lots of ABC-permitted stores. These arrests should make Franklin County safer.”

Detectives and special agents developed three out-of-county suspects, according to an SBI press release. Investigators raided their homes in the late afternoon April 16 and found 26 grams of crystal meth, guns and cash, according to a sheriff’s office press release.

The suspects are:

• Zachary David Wilson Jr., 29, of Ridge Alley Court, Spring Hope;

• Nicholas Paul Estes, 50, of Ridge Haven Drive, Wendell;

• Jay Windle Parker, 41, of St. Lawrence Way, Clayton.

Other items seized during the raids, which Bean said were not conducted under a search warrant, were two handguns, two vehicles, 100 Valium pills, and an undisclosed amount of marijuana, Ecstasy and cash, authorities said. The three men were arrested following the raids without incident.

“Our partnerships with state and federal agencies allow us to continue the strong commitment we have made to address illegal drug sales in our communities,” said Franklin County Sheriff Kent Winstead in a statement. “The results from this case allowed us to remove highly addictive and dangerous drugs from our community, and put those responsible for distributing them in jail.”

Wendell was charged with five counts of trafficking in methamphetamine; selling methamphetamine; possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine; and two counts of maintaining a vehicle used for keeping and selling controlled substances.

Clayton was charged with felony possession of a schedule I controlled substance; possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule IV controlled substance; trafficking in methamphetamine; maintaining a vehicle used for keeping and selling controlled substances; two counts of conspiring to traffic in methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wilson was charged with three counts of trafficking in methamphetamine; possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine; selling methamphetamine; maintaining a vehicle used for keeping and selling a controlled substance; possession of methamphetamine; two counts of conspiring to traffic in methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wilson was held under a $250,000 secured bond. Estes and Parker had $300,000 secured bonds.

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