9 arrested, including correctional officer, in scheme to get drugs to inmates, Alamance County sheriff says

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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — Nine people, including a correctional offer, are facing felony charges after Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson said they were involved in a scheme to get drugs to inmates in North Carolina state prisons.

Johnson announced the news Friday during a news conference.

Operation Continuing Criminal Enterprises began on Aug. 6 when the sheriff received a tip that Samuel Lee Perkins, of Burlington, was possibly involved in getting drugs to inmates.

Investigators with the sheriff's office, State Bureau of Investigation and Department of Public Safety Special Operations and Intelligence found a distribution network of Suboxone, a schedule III narcotic.

Deputies later determined that Perkins was an organizer in this scheme in Alamance County. The sheriff described him as a center point.

Some of the nine arrested were current and former inmates and one, Lauren Del Zimmerman, is a correctional officer working at the women's prison in Raleigh.

The following people are facing charges

  • Lauren Del Zimmerman, 31, of Cameron, is charged with conspiracy to sell and deliver a schedule III controlled substance.
  • Samuel Lee Perkins, 62, of Burlington, is charged with continuing criminal enterprise, possession with intent to sell and distribute a schedule III controlled substance, manufacturing a schedule III controlled substance, maintaining a dwelling, possession of drug paraphernalia, and two counts of conspiracy to sell and deliver a schedule III controlled substance.
  • Tracy Louise Pruitt Cochran, 46, of Eden, is charged with conspiracy to sell and deliver a schedule III controlled substance and conspiracy to sell and deliver a schedule II controlled substance.
  • Allison Mae Craft, 29, of Ellenboro, is charged with conspiracy to sell and deliver a schedule III controlled substance.
  • Lisa Marie Harmon, 37, is charged with felony conspiracy to sell and deliver a schedule III controlled substance.
  • Julie Haskins, 30, of New Bern, is charged with conspiracy to sell and deliver a schedule III controlled substance.
  • Everette Gerard McCandies, 56, of Burlington, is charged with conspiracy to sell and deliver a schedule III controlled substance, possession of a schedule I controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Ashleigh Carole Morgan, 28, Rocky Mount, is charged with conspiracy to sell and deliver a schedule III controlled substance.
  • Tyler Lee Orr, 22, of Burlington, is charged with two counts of conspiracy to sell and deliver a schedule III controlled substance, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

"This type of criminal activity is a slap in the face to the hardworking correctional officers that are underpaid and work every day in this system, and we will not allow that to happen," Johnson said.

The investigation is ongoing. The sheriff says he feels others are involved.

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