Two Perquimans men charged with alleged drug trafficking

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Gregory Whidbee


From staff reports

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

HERTFORD — Two Perquimans County men are facing cocaine trafficking charges after they and three other persons were apprehended in a roundup of alleged drug traffickers in North Carolina and Arizona, authorities said on Wednesday.

Gregory Whidbee, 41, of the 800 block of Ocean Highway, and Akio Hunter, 35, of the 100 block of Dogwood Drive, are each facing one count of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, N.C. Public Safety spokeswoman Patty McQuillan said.

Whidbee is accused of conspiracy to traffic with Maria Ruiz-Ochoa, 38, of Tonopah, Arizona, and John Bailey, 35, of Jamesville, McQuillan said.

Ruiz-Ochoa is charged with manufacturing, possessing and transporting cocaine, as well as conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, McQuillan said.

Bailey is charged with five counts of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, as well as with one count of possessing cocaine, she said.

The fifth suspect, Arthur Spruill, 49, of Selma, is charged with one count of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine.

According to McQuillan, the State Bureau of Investigation, in conjunction with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and the Williamston Police Department, conducted a six-month probe prior to making the arrests.

McQuillan said in addition to the arrests, authorities seized nearly 70½ ounces of cocaine, more than 35 ounces of heroin, 5½ pounds of marijuana, two vehicles and more than $268,000 in cash.

McQuillan said the seized illegal drugs had an estimated street value of $300,000.