On Sunday, May 20, the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office responded to North N.C. 111 in Seven Springs in reference to a report of stolen property. While at the property, the deputies smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the residence. Deputies executed a search warrant. An indoor marijuana grow was located inside the residence. While conducting this investigation, detectives were led to another residence on North N.C. 111 in Albertson, where detectives uncovered another indoor marijuana grow. Located inside this residence were Francisco Nunez and Dinorah Cruz. While at this residence, another residence was discovered in Wayne County at the intersection of Highway 111 and James N. Price Road. Duplin County Detectives made contact with Wayne County deputies who discovered yet another indoor grow inside that residence.
The marijuana that was recovered from the two marijuana grows in Duplin County weighed over 65 pounds. Detectives seized $1900 in cash and a 2004 Infiniti SUV. Street value of the marijuana grows in Duplin County was approximately $600,000.
Francisco Nunez and Dinorah Cruz were both charged with trafficking in marijuana by possession, trafficking in marijuana by manufacture, conspiring to traffic marijuana, possession with intent to sell marijuana (2 counts) of maintaining a place to keep controlled substances, and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. Francisco Nunez and Dinorah Cruz both were placed in the Duplin County Jail under a $25,000 secured bond.