$13.2 Million In Narcotics, $415,180 Cash Seized

Sheriff: Arresting this criminal has saved lives

Authorities have announced an arrest in a drug investigation involving local, state and federal authorities.  The Harnett County Sheriff’s Office, DEA and NC SBI conducted an investigation into the supply of heroin and fentanyl and other controlled substances into Harnett County.

During that investigation, the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office identified Wayne Lee Howell of Lillington as a heroin, fentanyl, and crystal methamphetamine supplier to Harnett and surrounding counties.

Agents conducted traffic stops and search warrants that resulted in a seizure of $415,180 in cash, approximately 13.2 pounds of heroin, 1.5 pounds of fentanyl, 13.4 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 2.2 pounds of powder cocaine, 52 grams of crack cocaine and 4.2 pounds of marijuana. Four firearms were also seized from Wayne Howell. The controlled substances seized have a potential street value of $13.2 million dollars.

On May 2, 2020, Howell was arrested and was charged with two counts of trafficking heroin, one count trafficking methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana, maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for a controlled substance and possession of firearm by a felon. Howell remains in the Harnett County Detention Center under a $2,080,000 bond. Additional charges are expected.

Wayne Lee Howell

By estimates of the DEA and NCSBI, the amount of Fentanyl seized has the potential of killing 272,000 – 300,000 people.

“I would like to recognize the teamwork between all of the assisting agencies that worked countless hours on this investigation. A seizure of this magnitude is a direct reflection of what is happening locally. I know in my heart that putting this criminal in jail has saved lives. I pray daily for the families of individuals that fell victim to this evil. My office will not stop investigating and arresting these dealers,” said Sheriff Wayne Coats.