Comments Off on Three charged in multi-county meth operation; suspects arrested in Cumberland, Columbus and Moore counties

WHITEVILLE – Three people have been charged after Columbus County authorities stopped a vehicle Tuesday and seized crystal methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $200,000.

Arrests were made in Columbus, Cumberland and Moore counties, said Lt. Steven Worthington of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.

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                                       Olivares                                                                                                     Rodriguez                                                                                                         Savva
Sheriff Chris Batten called it the largest crystal meth seizure in the county’s history.

Charged with trafficking methamphetamine were Johnny Andreas Savva Jr., 35, of Sand Hill Road in Fayetteville; Benjume Rodriguez, 36, of Littlefield Lane in Robbins; and Samuel Olivares, 18, of Concourse Drive in Houston, Texas.

All three are being held at the Columbus County Detention Center. Bail for Savva and Olivares was set at $500,000 each. Bail for Rodriguez was set at $200,000.

A tip led detectives to Fayetteville on Tuesday, where Savva was driving a vehicle bound for Columbus County, Worthington said. Detectives stopped the vehicle in Whiteville, arrested Savva, and seized two kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, Worthington said.

Interviews with Savva led detectives back to Fayetteville, where Olivares was arrested. That led investigators to Moore County, where Rodriguez was taken into custody, he said.

Olivares and Rodriguez are Mexican nationals, Worthington said, and investigators believe the methamphetamine seized Tuesday originated in that country.

Savva is originally from West Virginia, Worthington said.

Investigators are trying to determine the scope of the operation, Worthington said. They were back in Moore County Wednesday.

“We don’t have anything concrete, but we feel like it was multistate,” Worthington said.

Investigators from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, the Moore County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation were working with Columbus County detectives, Worthington said.





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