ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WNCN) — Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone and deputies say they arrested two armed drug dealers at a Rocky Mount mall on Thursday, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.
Stone and sheriff’s deputies were at the Golden East Mall on Thursday in order to follow up on complaints of drug dealing and other illegal activities in the mall’s parking lot, the sheriff’s office said.
Stone saw two men near two vehicles “conducting illegal narcotics sales in the Dunham’s Sports parking lot” and deputies then moved in toward a Toyota Highlander and Chrysler 300 in order to investigate, the release said.
As deputies got closer to the vehicles, a man armed with a handgun got out of the passenger side of the Highlander, authorities said.
When the suspect, identified as 19-year-old Rocky Mount resident Dominique Macklin-Cooper, saw deputies, he tossed the gun into the Chrysler in an attempt to hide it, the sheriff’s office said.
Nash County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Maya was then called in to search the vehicle and “provided a positive indication on both vehicles for the odor of illegal narcotics,” officials said.
A probable cause search of the two vehicles resulted in the discovery of around 250 grams of marijuana, marijuana edibles disguised as sour candy, cash, and a loaded Glock 43 9mm pistol with a 50-round 9mm drum magazine inside Macklin-Cooper’s vehicle.
A search of another suspect, 21-year-old Michael Wiggins, of Tarboro, revealed a Glock 19 9mm pistol with an extended magazine inside his vehicle, along with cash.
Approximately $1,600 was found between the two suspects’ vehicles, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office release included a statement from Stone and the deputies thanking “the citizens and business owners of Nash County [for] their continued information and support given.”
The release went on to say that, “Sheriff Stone believe the citizens and business owners of Nash County should be able to be safe in the community and be reminded that the Nash County Sheriff’s Office will continue with proactive efforts to ensure we continue the War on Gangs, Guns, and Drugs.”
Michael Wiggins was charged with one count of possession with intent to sell/deliver marijuana and one count of maintain vehicle for a controlled substance.
Dominique Macklin-Cooper was charged with one count of possession of marijuana up to ½ ounce and one count of carrying concealed weapon.
Both received a secured bond of $1,000 and were given a court date of July 29 in Nashville District Court. Both defendants were still in the custody of the Nash County Detention Center as of Friday morning.