Kinston PD makes major drug arrests as part of 'Operation Summer Takeoff'

A display of the drugs and weapons captured during Operation Summer Takeoff. (Photo courtesy of Kinston Police Department)

KINSTON, Lenoir County - While some kicked off their summer by heading to the beach or firing up a gaming system, the Kinston Police Department went hunting for drug dealers.

According to department spokesman Woody Spencer, among those arrested included Torrie Hood, who was released from prison in February after serving 14 years on drug trafficking charges.

The department enlisted the aid of the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the US Marshals, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Probation and Parole to rollout Operation Summer Takeoff within Kinston city limits on Thursday.

The effort began with a search warrant being served at a home at 1006 East Gordon Street, where deputies located two stolen handguns, 16 grams of heroin, 1.4 pounds of marijuana and four ounces of crack cocaine. Arrested in that bust were the aforementioned Hood, Alkein Muhammad and Esless White.

Hood was charged with trafficking heroin, trafficking cocaine, possession with intent to sell or distribute marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for drug purposes, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was booked into the Lenoir County Jail on a $1,055,000 bond.

Muhammad and White were both charged with trafficking cocaine and possession with intent to sell or distribute marijuana. Muhammad was also charged with possession of a stolen firearm and was booked into the Lenoir County Jail on a $535,000 bond. White was also booked into the Lenoir County Jail, with his bond set at $515,000.

As another part of Operation Summer Takeoff, Kinston PD announced the arrest of 11 other individuals, all of whom were booked into the Lenoir County Jail on drug-related charges with bond amounts ranging from $2,500 to $195,000.

They still have seven suspects at large from that investigation: Lowett Brown or 201 B East South Street, Jeffrey Shackleford Jr. of 2320 Dogwood Lane, Stephen Dixon of 637 Winchester Road, Java Brown of 801 Thompson Street, Jimmy Ray Dixon of 111 North Independence Street - all of Kinston - plus Jadha Murphy of 109 Ward Lane in Trenton and Michael Fisher of 6242 Bear Creek Estates in La Grange. Each has a warrant tied to violations of the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act.

Kinston Police officials are asking anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of any of the seven individuals still at large to call the Kinston PD Tips Line at 252-939-4020 or Lenoir County Crime Stoppers at 252-523-4444.