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Bladen County Sheriff James A. McVicker announced on Wednesday the arrest of several county residents for selling controlled substances.

“The Narcotic’s Unit has been busy during the past few weeks buying drugs and arresting dealers,” said Sheriff McVicker. “We are beginning to see an increase in the use and sale of heroin in the county. This is a trend of addicts who once used prescription medication and can no longer get it, who are now switching to the cheaper but even more addictive heroin as a substitute.”

Sheriff McVicker said members of the Patrol Division and Criminal Investigations Unit of the Elizabethtown Police Department assisted the Sheriff’s OfficeNarcotics Unit with arrests in several locations on Tuesday.

Arrested for selling drugs in the Willard Tatum Road area outside Elizabethtown was Dustin Lee Keisler, 32, of 48 Rackley’s Place, Elizabethtown. Keisler was charged with one count of possession with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver Heroin, one count of sell/deliver Heroin, one count of felony possession of Heroin. His bond was set at $100,000 secured.

A separate investigation into the sale of controlled substances in the Quail Street and Martin Luther King area of Elizabethtown has lead to the arrest of Jamie Ballard, 35, of 504 Quail Street, Elizabethtown. Ballard was charged with two counts of possession with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver Marijuana, one count of possession with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver schedule II controlled substances (Hydrocodone), one count of felony possession of marijuana, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond was set at $75,000 secured. Approximately ¼ pound of marijuana was seized at the time of Ballard’s arrest. Ballard is on federal probation and additional charges are expected to be filed against him.

A third arrest was made in the Highway 410 and Highway 211 area of  Bladenboro following numerous complaints from area citizens. Arrested was Ethan Tyler Davis, 29, of 8492 Highway 131, Bladenboro. Davis was charged with one count of conspiring to deliver Heroin, one count of conspiring to sell Heroin and three counts of driving while license revoked. Davis’ bond was set at $101,000 secured.

“We will continue to seek out and arrest those who sell this poison,” said McVicker. “Not only are the user’s lives destroyed but so are their families, friends and neighbors. This is a problem we cannot solve with just arrests. We also need to help those who are struggling with addiction.”