Second Annual Community Awareness Day Festival with Sneads Ferry H.O.P.E

Saturday, April 28, 2018 10am-3pm & a DJ Dance Party 6-8pm at Sneads Ferry Community Building with a day full of live events and craft vendors Sneads Ferry H.O.P.E hosts a second annual event centered in the heart of the community.

In an official press release from the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office today, the Drug Enforcement Unit conducted their fifth round-up within a year, this one called “Operation H.O.P.E.” These round-ups have focused on all areas of the county. This round-up focused on Verona, Sneads Ferry, and Holly Ridge.

In 2016, after family and friends suffered the loss of Jason Sapp and Matthew Eyster due to heroin/fentanyl overdoses, mothers Cindy Patane and Vanessa Sapp decided to lead their community in the fight to “take back the Ferry.” These mothers, with the help of the community, created the Heroin Opiate Prevention Education (H.O.P.E.) organization with the main goal of facilitating real answers and seeking real results to help those struggling with drug and alcohol addictions.
For the last two years, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit has been working with the community of Sneads Ferry and with the H.O.P.E. Organization. The Drug Enforcement Unit has received information from the citizens of Sneads Ferry and has been successful in validating this information by conducting controlled purchases of narcotics and/ or conducting narcotic-related operations in which controlled substances were located and seized.
The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit has been fully supported by the founders and members of H.O.P.E. and with their help, have made significant strides in reducing the distribution and use of illegal narcotics in and around the Sneads Ferry area. It was because of this close relationship, the members of the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit decided to name their operation after the H.O.P.E. Organization.
Over the last year, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit, with the assistance of the North Topsail Beach Police Department, Surf City Police Department, Holly Ridge Police Department and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has conducted multiple controlled purchases, undercover operations and traffic stops resulting in seizing trafficking amounts of Opiate pills, trafficking amounts of MDMA, a variety of pills, marijuana, cocaine and a quantity of heroin. During the year-long investigation involving distributors of heroin, the Drug Enforcement Unit made many arrests, while still maintaining the integrity of their investigations. The larger sources of heroin in Sneads Ferry have been arrested one by one and these actions have significantly reduced the spread of this terrible epidemic. On April 26, 2018, Operation H.O.P.E. was conducted. This operation targeted a total of (21) people. As of this release, (17) people have been arrested:
Alison Kimberly McLeod, 30-years-old of Gold Cost Dr., Hampstead – Trafficking Schedule II Controlled Substance by Transport; Trafficking Schedule II Controlled Substance by Sell; Trafficking Schedule II Controlled Substance by Deliver; Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule II controlled substance; Sell Controlled Substance; Deliver Controlled Substance; Maintaining a Vehicle for Controlled Substance. BOND: $210,000 secured.Marshall Maguire Groce, 47-years-old of Sneads Ferry Rd., Sneads Ferry – (2) Counts Sell Counterfeit Controlled Substance; (2) Counts Deliver Counterfeit Controlled Substance; (2) Counts Manufacture Counterfeit Controlled Substance; Felony Possession of Heroin; Felony Maintain a Dwelling; Misdemeanor Possession Drug Paraphernalia. BOND: $22,000 secured.

John Robert Pruitt Jr., 50-years-old of Fulchers Landing Rd., Sneads Ferry – Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule II Cocaine; Sell Schedule II Cocaine; Deliver Schedule II Cocaine; Maintain Dwelling for Schedule II Cocaine; Possession Drug Paraphernalia (2) Counts Counterfeit Controlled Substance; Felony Possession of Firearm by Felon. Pruitt is a repeat offender and is currently on probation. BOND: $510,000 secured.

Lance Michael Gross, 17-years-old of Peru Rd., Sneads Ferry – Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Marijuana; Manufacture Marijuana; Sell Marijuana; Deliver Marijuana; Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana;
(2) Counts Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Gross is currently on probation. BOND: $7,000 secured

Mathew Kyle Rochelle, 19-years-old of Riverside Dr., Sneads Ferry – (2) Counts Possession with Intent to Manufacture/
Sell/Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance; (2) Counts Manufacture Schedule II Controlled Substance; (2) Counts Sell Schedule II Controlled Substance; (2) Counts Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance; (2) Counts Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. BOND: $45,000 secured.

Torence Michael Thomas, 22-years-old of Hwy 172, Sneads Ferry – Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Heroin; Manufacture Heroin; Sell Heroin; Deliver Heroin; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Thomas is a repeat offender. BOND: $20,000 secured.

Marissa Ann Baehr, 28-years-old of Ashley King Rd., Holly Ridge – Possession of Schedule II Methamphetamine; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. BOND: $2,000 secured.

Joseph Allen Franks, 46-years-old of Wheeler Creek Rd., Sneads Ferry – Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Heroin; Sell Heroin; Deliver Heroin; Felony Conspiracy; Possession Drug Paraphernalia. BOND: $26,000 secured.

Paige Michelle Bridgers, 28-years-old of Tillett Ln., Sneads Ferry – Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule II Methamphetamine; Maintain a Dwelling for Schedule II Methamphetamine; Possession of Marijuana; Drug Paraphernalia. Bridgers is currently on probation. BOND: $20,000 secured.

Camille Aquafredda, 52-years-old of Sneads Ferry Rd., Sneads Ferry – Felony Possession of Heroin; Felony Maintain a Dwelling; Misdemeanor Possession Drug Paraphernalia. BOND: $6,000 secured.

Hulan Ashley Anderson Sr., 64-years-old of High Hill Rd., Verona – Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule II Methamphetamine; Sell Schedule II Methamphetamine; Deliver Schedule II Methamphetamine; Possession of Firearm by Felon; Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Heroin; Manufacture Heroin; Sell Heroin; Deliver Heroin; Possession Drug Paraphernalia. BOND: $195,000 secured.

Travis Lloyd Greene, 28-years-old of Henderson Rd., Jacksonville – Manufacture Schedule II Methamphetamine; Felony Conspiracy. Greene is currently on probation. BOND: $75,000 secured.

Brandon Howard Bailey, 25-years old of Country Club Rd., Hampstead – Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule II Oxycodone; Sell Schedule II Oxycodone; Deliver Schedule II Oxycodone; Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule III Controlled Substance; Sell Schedule III Controlled Substance; Deliver Schedule III Controlled Substance. BOND: $21,000 secured.

Zachary Wayne Foster, 21-years-old of Peru Rd., Sneads Ferry – Felony Possession of Heroin; Felony Conspiracy; Misdemeanor Possession Drug Paraphernalia. BOND: $6,000 secured.

Neal Hutchins Lockhart, 22-years-old of Greenwood Ave., Wilmington – (3) Counts Trafficking Schedule I Controlled Substance; Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule I MDMA; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Arrested in New Hanover County, bond unknown.

Barry Clifton Buie, 38-years-old of Jonny Parker Rd., Jacksonville – Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule II Cocaine; Sell Schedule II Cocaine; Deliver Schedule II Cocaine; Maintain Dwelling for Schedule II Cocaine; Possession Drug Paraphernalia. BOND: $52,000 secured.

Christopher William Coe, 31-years-old of Ocracoke Rd., Sneads Ferry – Felony Possession of Heroin; Possession Drug Paraphernalia. BOND: $2,500 secured.

Recovered during this operation were 3 guns, (1) gram of marijuana, (3) bags of heroin, various drug paraphernalia and a Polaris Razer ATV with extra equipment. The ATV and equipment are valued at $20,000.
Sheriff Miller would like to thank the citizens of Sneads Ferry, Holly Ridge, Verona, North Topsail Beach and the Sneads Ferry H.O.P.E. Organization for their assistance and cooperation with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office because, without their help, Operation H.O.P.E. would not have been a success. Only by working together with all our communities from Belgrade, Swansboro, Jacksonville, Richlands, Nine Mile, Holly Ridge and all the communities in between, we are successful in our efforts to fight drugs in our county.

The investigation continues and more arrests are expected.

Stated in a conversation today with Mrs. Vanessa Sapp, “While HOPE encourages those who are addicted to seek treatment, we also support law enforcement in arresting those who continue to sell the poison. Really want our community to know that if they want help, there are resources available. But there are also consequences for dealing.
It’s really important that people know about the 911 Good Samaritan Law too, that protects individuals who call in a 911 call to save a life from overdose. If they call 911, they won’t be arrested for small amounts of drugs or paraphernalia.”

Anyone with information about this incident may contact Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit at 910-455-3113 or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273. Please refer to case Operation “H.O.P.E.” when calling.

Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $2,500 for information that is deemed of value or assistance to law enforcement. Information can also be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and never have to reveal their identity.

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