5 arrested after deputies seize nearly 40 pounds of cocaine worth more than half a million dollars

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – Five suspects were arrested after nearly 40 pounds of cocaine was seized with a street value of more than a half million dollars in bulk.

If sold in doses, the cocaine could sell for around $1.3 million.

The arrests are in connection to a trafficking operation responsible for large amounts of narcotics showing up in the streets of Guilford and Randolph counties, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

“Whether they're dealing it, selling it, using it or whatever, often times that and crime go together,” said Sheriff BJ Barnes with the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said 37.95 pounds of cocaine, $73,000 in cash and eight motor vehicles were seized.

Authorities have arrested Arthur Burton Lea Jr, David Floyd Matthews Jr., Harvey Christopher Springs, Enrique Ramirez-Hernandez and Fransisco Guadalupe Pacheco-Aboytes in connection to the crimes.

The suspects face multiple drug charges and all received at least a $1 million bond, except for Lea Jr. who is out on a $100,000 bond.

The Guilford County Sheriff's Office and Randolph County Sheriff's Office made the arrests, but multiple agencies contributed to the investigation, including the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and police in Archdale, Lexington, Greensboro and Thomasville.

“We are all in this together to make our community safe,” said Sheriff Robert Graves with the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office. “Each of these departments alone don't have the manpower to do each of the specific things, but all of us together we have a large contingency of officers that are dedicated to getting this stuff off the street.”