Wake County authorities breakup rare drug lab estimated to be worth almost $4 million

Wake County News

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) – The Wake County Sheriff’s Office broke up a drug lab running out of a Wake Forest home that was estimated to be worth almost $4 million, according to a press release Monday.

Detectives found a lab inside a home at 505 Flaherty Ave. They said it was being used to produce the hallucinogenic drug Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Further interviews led detectives to believe the men were inserting the drug into vape pens, the release said.

A shotgun was also found in the home.

Daniel Ray Hawkins, 33, and Benjamin Blake Lumpkin, 35, were arrested. They’re each charged with manufacturing of a schedule I drug, maintaining a dwelling, possession of precursors, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the release said.

“I am absolutely stunned. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that something would happen in this nice little neighborhood with a school just down the street,” said Kim Bowers, who lives behind the home.

There have been only three DMT labs located in North Carolina. Members of the Wake County Drugs and Vice Unit have located two of them, the release said.

The total street value of this bust is estimated to be almost $4 million.

Bowers said she often saw two men sitting on the front porch of the home, and that they were very friendly.

“The people here would say hi to me every time I walked by with my dogs,” she said.

Neighbor Shari Rice also called the men friendly. She said she never suspected anything was wrong until deputies showed up.

“We saw some people going in and out and they all has masks on and ventilators. We didn’t want to be nosy neighbors, but we were trying to see what was going on. We have a teenage daughter in the house and you want to know if you’re safe,” she said

Rice said she was stunned when deputies came to her house and explained the situation.

“They had garage sales. They were having garage sales. It was normal. You would never know those people were over there doing that,” said Bowers.

The State Bureau of Investigation will help with the teardown of the lab, which will be handled by a private firm from South Carolina, the release said.

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