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Drug suspects out on bail

Published 12:04pm Saturday, July 20, 2013

COURTLAND—Two Newsoms men are out of Southampton County Jail after an unknown person or persons posted a $25,000 surety bond on each suspect Thursday.

Kyle Thorpe and Joel Hedgepeth
Kyle Thorpe and Joel Hedgepeth

Joel Hedgepeth, 28, and Kyle Thorpe, 27, had been arrested Wednesday at Thorpe’s home in the 34000 block of Monroe Street, Newsoms. Hedgepeth is from the 22000 block of Linden Street, Courtland.

Search warrants had been made in connection with a seizure of 99 marijuana plants found May 28 in Newsoms. An illegal liquor still was also taken during the search on Wednesday.

Originally held without bond, the suspects were scheduled for an arraignment Thursday. That date has been moved to Thursday, Aug. 22, in Southampton County Circuit Court.

Hedgepeth has been charged with four counts of selling and distributing marijuana, conspiring to sell and distribute marijuana, selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school and possessing a distilling apparatus without a license.

Thorpe is charged with two counts of selling and distributing marijuana, conspiring to sell and distribute marijuana, selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, possessing a gun with over one pound of marijuana and possessing a distilling apparatus without a license.

On May 28, a warrant was served at a Newsoms residence in the 25000 block of Greenbriar Drive, which Thorpe’s father owns, for marijuana paraphernalia including potted plants. The estimated street value of the items was $297,000.

The investigation got started back in May, when the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office was tipped off and used that information to make some buys with a confidential source, said Maj. Gene Drewery, department spokesman.

Rick Francis, clerk of court, said that normally there are several things to help a judge decide whether or not to allow bail. These include, but are not limited to, the presence or use of firearms and their potential consequence, having a past record, flight risk, the severity of the charges, and if someone had been hurt.

Having a surety bond, said a member of Francis’s office, means the suspects needed a professional bondsmen.

Managing editor Cain Madden contributed to this story.

  • A

    They wont flee; too much money to be made here in the future. Pursue the Al Capone case of back audits for income taxes! May them really pay.

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  • handkusp45

    Put them away. They are a menace to society. Let them deal their drugs behind bars.

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  • thecomputerman

    Flight risk.

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  • curious

    7 weeks after having their grow operation stopped a still is found?? Wow…

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    Brains, Use them.

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  • formerresident

    Yes we are all innocent until proven guilty, but when you are pretty much caught red handed your argument of innocence is pretty much thrown out the window.. Isn’t that the same kid that got arrested some years back with the Bain, Belcher, Worrel boys with the coke and marijuana? If so he may do some severe time, but in all honesty they will probably get around 3-5 with suspended sentences and will be back out within a year or so.

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  • JOHN

    We all know that they are not innocent when they are caught like they were. The only question is how much jail time will they get. Lets see, drugs,guns,school zone = Jail time

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  • mackmack

    If your credit is wack wack call Mack Mack

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  • mackmack

    How about they are innocent until proven guilty that’s how they might have made a bond and really if you talk shot your incriminating yourself a so have a nice day

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