Five people were arrested on a long list of drug-related charges following the executing of a search warrant early Friday morning in Murphy, NC.

Detectives with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office that Benjamin Highsmith was renting a room at a local Murphy, NC Motel and was selling illegal narcotics from that location, according to a news release. Deputies conducted surveillance on the room, and were able to conduct several traffic stops where the occupants had visited the motel room.

During one of the traffic stops, detectives recovered approximately 3.41 grams of grey powder heroin, 4.02 grams of black tar heroin, 0.21 grams of methamphetamine and assorted prescription pills that are controlled substances under the North Carolina Controlled Substance Act.

That allowed detectives to obtain a search warrant for the hotel room.

As detectives entered the room about 2:30am, Highsmith successfully flushed an unknown amount of money and narcotics down the toilet. Despite that, officers were still able to seize approximately 140 grams (5 ounces) of Black Tar Heroin. Officers were also able to seize a small amount of prescription pills, $845 in cash, and a semi-automatic handgun.

Arrested were:

  • Benjamin Highsmith, 29, Rome GA - Trafficking in heroin, Possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin, Simple possession Schedule II controlled substance, Drug paraphernalia, Possession of firearm by felon
  • Heather Ramsey, 40, of Murphy - Trafficking in heroin, Possession of Methamphetamine, Simple Possession of Schedule II, Bringing Controlled substance into a confinement facility
  • Jessie Crist, 38, of Murphy - Possession of Methamphetamine Possession of Drug paraphernalia
  • Louis Tarantino Jr., 38, Murphy - Simple Possession of Schedule V, Drug Paraphernalia
  • Sherrie Marie Brooks, 26, Rome, GA - Trafficking in heroin, Possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin, Simple possession Schedule II controlled substance, Drug paraphernalia