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8 inmates accused of possessing drugs

Eight North Carolina prisoners have received felony charges after they were accused of having synthetic marijuana in their possession. The prisoners who were charged ranged in age from 27 years old to 44 years old.

An investigation was opened at the Tyrrell Prison Work Farm after paramedics responded to several possible drug overdoses. It was believed that the drug the inmates overdosed on was K-2, also known as spice or synthetic marijuana. Four of the accused inmates were charged with marijuana possession. One was charged with Suboxone possession. The remaining three inmates were charged with possession of K-2 synthetic cannabinoids.

Man accused of robbery

On June 20, a North Carolina man was taken into custody after he was accused of forcing a family to take him shopping at gunpoint. The 29-year-old man was ultimately charged with second-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

According to authorities, the man knocked on the door of a residence located in Durham at about 7 a.m. One of the residents gave the man an unknown amount of money. The man then allegedly displayed a gun and forced a family consisting of an adult man, an adult woman and two minor children to get into the family's vehicle. The man forced the family to withdraw more money from an ATM and then take him to a convenience store. He then made the family take him shopping at a Target where he purchased several bags worth of clothing and gift cards.

Man charged with drug offenses after edible found in car

On June 6, North Carolina agents with the City County Drug Task Force reportedly discovered a food item that contained marijuana during a vehicle search. The agents found the item at about 6:35 a.m. when they stopped a vehicle on Interstate 95 near Exit 173 following a motor vehicle violation.

During a search of the vehicle, authorities recovered marijuana, a mason jar that had marijuana residue in it, rolling papers and other drug paraphernalia. Agents also said that, after searching through luggage found in the vehicle, a "Fruity Pebbles" bar that contained marijuana was also found. This bar was wrapped in wax paper and plastic. A smaller piece of this same item was found in the vehicle's center console.

Rapper Chief Keef faces multiple drug charges

North Carolina residents may have heard the news about the rapper Chief Keef who faces drug possession charges. Police took him into custody on June 12 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was in Sioux Falls on June 11 to perform at a show. While he was at the airport on June 12, law enforcement officials arrived and detained him around 9 a.m. after Transportation Security Administration workers allegedly found four blunts and two THC edibles in his luggage. According to the report, police booked him shortly before 9:30 a.m. on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, and possessing between two ounces and a half-pound of marijuana.

This marks the second time the rapper was taken into police custody during 2017. The first incident was in early April when, after he failed to show up for his arraignment relating to an incident involving drug possession and DUI charges in Miami, law enforcement officials issued an arrest warrant for him.

Rapper Rich Homie Quan facing drug and weapons charges

Hip-hop fans in North Carolina may know Dequantes Devontay Lamar as Rich Homie Quan. The 27-year-old rapper was working to get his music career back on track and had hoped to release his first album in July, but he now faces decades in prison after being taken into custody on drug and weapons charges on May 27.

According to media reports, Lamar was on his way to perform at a nightclub in Georgia with five companions when the van he was traveling in arrived at a police checkpoint on Highway 1 in Jefferson County. A search of the van is said to have yielded quantities of marijuana, heroin, drug paraphernalia and a stolen gun. The Atlanta-born rapper was subsequently charged with a felony count of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and transported to a nearby detention facility. The drug charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. The five individuals traveling with him were also taken into custody.

Poppy cultivation in North Carolina part of opioid crisis

The sheriff of Catawba County blamed the opioid crisis in the state for the field of opium poppies discovered by his deputies. The sheriff's department spent a day removing plants from the field that was close to one acre in size. Although the department sent plant samples to a state laboratory to confirm their identity, the sheriff had no doubt that they were the plant from which opium and heroin are derived.

An agent from the Drug Enforcement Agency said that the field in Catawba County off Poultry Lane represented only the second field of poppies found in the nation. The property showed no signs of drug manufacturing, and a law enforcement agent speculated that the plants were being sent to another location for processing.

How properly restraining children in cars could save lives

The Journal of Pediatrics recently published research that shows that North Carolina had the fourth-highest number of child fatalities from traffic accidents that occurred between 2010 and 2014. During that time period, 132 children died. However, North Carolina is not among the states with the most fatalities when the same statistic is considered percentage wise, or per 100,000 children.

The study was conducted by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Harvard and looked at trends by state. It found that the South had the highest number of child fatalities and the Northeast had the lowest. During the time period that the study covered, 2,885 children died in fatal motor vehicle accidents. This figure represents around 16 percent of children who were involved in deadly crashes.

Huge gang sweep in Charlotte

North Carolina residents might feel a little safer now after the authorities conducted the largest gang sweep ever in the state. Federal indictments named 83 people, and many of them were taken into custody on May 18. The suspects are all alleged members of the United Blood Nation, related to the infamous Bloods from California. The sweep targeted a sect of the UBN known as Nine Trey Gangsters. Some of the crimes listed in the indictment range back to 2010 and include homicides, firearms and drug trafficking, bank fraud and robbery.

Fifty people were detained on May 18, with 25 people found in Charlotte, 14 in Cleveland County and four in Anson County. Suspected gang members were also in South Carolina, Florida and New York. Even small towns like Shelby and Concord can have a big gang presence, and the gang also reportedly exists in Chapel Hill. Hundreds of officers from more than a dozen law enforcement agencies were needed to investigate and catch the suspected gang members.

What if the drunk driver who hit me has no insurance?

A drunk driver has struck and injured you. Your insurance company says it will help, and although it extends an offer, the dollar figures are nowhere near what you need.

You feel like you are out of options, especially because the other driver lacked insurance.  However, before you accept any settlement offers, consider a few things.

Bill allows 16- and 17-year-olds to be tried as juveniles

On May 17, it was reported that the North Carolina House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow courts to try those under the age of 18 as juveniles for most offenses. The state remains the only one in the nation to still charge 16- and 17-year-olds as adults for all crimes, no matter how minor.

The measure would not take effect until 2019, providing two years to phase out the practice of trying 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. It would allow misdemeanor and nonviolent felony cases to be taken to juvenile court. The bill has the support of both lawmakers and law enforcement agencies. The concerns that others have deal more with the financial aspect of moving the cases to juvenile court over the actual terms of the proposed measure.

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