Knightdale police seize $82K in arrest

aspecht@newsobserver.comAugust 28, 2013 

— Local police say suspicious activity at a Knightdale self-storage business led to the arrest of a Rocky Mount man and the seizure of $82,000.

Knightdale police on Aug. 23 arrested Demond Levar Morris, 35, of 1410 Cypress St., Rocky Mount for possession with intent to sell marijuana, maintaining a dwelling place for drug sales and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Officer Kevin Bobbitt noticed Morris’ Nissan Maxima leaving the Excess Storage business off Knightdale Boulevard on the western side of Interstate 540 at about 1 a.m., Knightdale police chief Jason Godwin said. Bobbitt then stopped Morris and detected the smell of marijuana, Godwin said.

“Being a K-9 officer, he deployed that option,” the chief said.

Bobbitt and the K-9 unit, Echo, found about 4 grams of marijuana, numerous plastic baggies, and $50,624 in cash, according to a search warrant. Police then searched Morris’ self-storage unit, where they seized an additional $31,600.

Possessing a large sum of cash doesn’t necessitate a trafficking charge. But Godwin says the cash raised suspicions given Morris’ police record and the fact that “he couldn’t explain how he got the money.”

State records show Morris has previously been convicted of drug charges in Nash County in 2007 and 1996, and in Edgecombe County in 2004 and 2001.

Morris’ $82,000 in cash remains in evidence at the police station, and will be returned to him if he is acquitted. If Knightdale police bring the case against Morris, and he is convicted, the cash goes to the local school board, Godwin said. If the FBI adopts the case, and Morris is convicted, the destination of Morris’ cash is harder to predict, Godwin said.

“It could be divided up among the law enforcement agencies,” he said.

Godwin described the arrest as “a police officer doing what good police officers do.”

Morris posted $10,000 bond later the same day he was arrested. He could not be reached for comment.

Staff writer Aaron Moody contributed.

Specht: 919-829-4826

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