Man arrested on meth-trafficking charges from Wake County and Georgia

From staff reportsSeptember 20, 2013 

— Wake County sheriff's deputies arrested a man wanted by Georgia authorities and an Asheboro woman and charged both of them Thursday with trafficking in methamphetamine.

The man was first listed on arrest warrants as Alvaro Perez, 25, when deputies stopped him and Maricela Pineda, 20, in a Dodge Caravan in which investigators said they had more than 400 grams of methamphetamine when they stopped it on Fayetteville Road in Garner.

Later in the day, however, Wake County charges were changed to be against Hedilberto Arias-Benitez, 23, and he was held on $1.5 million bail on a 2010 warrant in which authorities in Gwinnett County, Ga., outside Atlanta, charged him with felony conspiracy to traffic in meth, saying he “was engaged in a large narcotic operation” in 2009.

Both suspects were charged locally with trafficking in methamphetamine, maintaining a vehicle to keep drugs and conspiring with each other and with other unnamed people to traffic in meth.

Magistrates set Arias-Benitez’s bail at a total of $2 million.

Pineda was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, and both were slated for court appearances Friday.

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