On Thursday, March 15, 2012 Officers from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit, the Boone Police Department Narcotics Unit, the NC State Bureau of Investigation, and Federal Agents with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) arrested five suspects stemming from a coordinated Federal, State and Local narcotics investigation.
Barbara Raynette Tester, 30, of Bubba Drive Zionsville, NC; Mark Lee Nations, 48, of Summer Drive Boone, NC; Amanda Nicole Coffey, 29, of Sampson Rd. Boone, NC; Joseph Alan Coffey, 35, of Sampson rd. Boone, NC and Christopher Edward Baird, 25, of Meat Camp rd. Boone, NC were all charged with two counts each of Possession of immediate Precursor Chemicals with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine and two counts each of Possession or Distribution of an Immediate Precursor Chemical knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe, that the Immediate Precursor Chemical will be used to Manufacture Methamphetamine.
All suspects were placed under a $25,000.00 bond and given a court date of June 28th, 2012. The investigation is still ongoing and more arrests are expected.
The sheriff's office adds that this is a great example of the success in the recent installation of the NPLEx “real-time electronic logging system” used by pharmacies in South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina, to track sales of over-the-counter (OTC) cold and allergy medications which contain precursor to the illegal drug, methamphetamine (METH).
North Carolina went “live” with the system on January 1, 2012 thanks to the efforts spearheaded by Attorney General Roy Cooper and the NC Legislature.
NADDI (the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators) provides NPLEx at no cost to states that have this system and agree to utilize it, as with the State of North Carolina.
The sheriff's office goes on to say that this system has proven to be a great asset as it has blocked hundreds of sales since January 1, 2012 here in Watauga County. All pharmacies in Watauga are participating in the NPLEx system, with literally hundreds of sales stopped by the system locally.