Probe ends in six drug arrests

Probe ends in six drug arrests

Staff WriterSeptember 28, 2005 

A little less than six kilograms of cocaine and six arrests came out of a drug investigation that took an unusual turn Monday night when a suspect crashed his car after a high-speed pursuit in South Raleigh.

Elim Gomez, 42, who has no listed address, was booked into the Wake County jail early Tuesday morning on drug trafficking charges, according to jail records.

Hours earlier, at 9:30 p.m. Monday, Gomez crashed his white Infiniti into a tractor-trailer driven by Laverne Gamble, 52, of South Carolina, at South Saunders Street and Ileagnes Road.

Gomez had run a red light in an attempt to avoid capture by Garner police, who tried to pull him over after he left 202 Purvis St. in Garner.

Both Raleigh and Garner police were conducting surveillance at the home as part of a drug investigation, said Jim Sughrue of the Raleigh Police Department.

After the accident, Gomez jumped out of his car and ran into a wooded area while his car, without a driver, continued moving and crossed a median into oncoming traffic. A Garner police officer stopped the vehicle. Gomez was apprehended a short time later.

Police had recovered about four kilograms of cocaine in the past few days as part of the investigation, Sughrue said.

Two kilograms of cocaine and $47,900 also were seized Monday from the Purvis Street home, according to a search warrant made public Tuesday. The Purvis Street home is owned by Olga Hurtado, 40. Drugs also were discovered inside Gomez's Infiniti, Sughrue said.

Gomez, Hurtado and four others have been charged with drug trafficking in connection with the investigation. Gomez is in the Wake County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, and Hurtado is in custody under $250,000 bail.

Staff writer Sarah Ovaska can be reached at 829-4622 or sovaska@newsobserver.com.

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