Raleigh police stakeout led to $10,000, 6 pounds of marijuana, records show

rgallagher@newsobserver.comMarch 22, 2013 

— Detectives who watched an apartment off Gorman Street one January night after getting a tip arrested the woman who lived there and found more than $10,000 in cash and 6.38 pounds of marijuana, court documents showed this week.

Detective S.A. Goree, a member of the police Vice and Drugs Investigative Unit who asked for a search warrant, told a magistrate that police saw six groups of people come and leave the apartment at 3003 Kings Court in an hour of watching on Jan. 11.

Many people coming and going quickly from one residence “is often indicative [of] and consistent with” drug activity, Goree stated.

When a woman who lived in the apartment, Lauren Elizabeth McGhan, drove away in an older-model Mercedes, uniformed officers stopped her because she was speeding on Gorman Street, the warrant application said.

Shamus, one of the department’s drug-sniffing dogs, indicated there were drugs in the car, and Goree said officers found marijuana in a backpack like one detectives had seen McGhan take from the apartment.

About 1:30 a.m., detectives searched the apartment and found $10,479 in cash, 2,892 grams of marijuana, a ledger and assorted other items, according to the warrant, which was returned to the Wake County magistrate’s office Wednesday evening.

McGhan, 25, was charged with two counts of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and two of maintaining a dwelling or vehicle to keep or sell drugs.

She was convicted of possession with intent to sell on March 12, given a suspended sentence and put on 18 months’ probation, state corrections records show.

Alexander James Balmat, 24, of 7420 Edenwood Lane was arrested outside the apartment after he was seen going in and then leaving, the warrant states.

Police charged him with felony possession of marijuana after police said they smelled the drug on his clothes.

Balmat was convicted March 12 of possession and of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor, given a suspended sentence and placed on probation for a year, the corrections records show.

Another woman was arrested at the apartment, but charges against her were later dropped, the Wake County District Attorney’s Office said Friday.

Gallagher 919-829-4572

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