North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agents in the Alcohol Law Enforcement department began its investigation into two Knightdale restaurants with undercover operations that began over the summer, recently released search warrants show.
ALE and Knightdale police officers arrested nine people at Sports Page and Rudino’s Pizza last week for crimes related to selling over $600 worth of drugs and overseeing and facilitating drug deals on the restaurants’ property. Both restaurants serve alcohol, which prompted the ALE’s involvement.
According to the warrants, officers recovered a scale with marijuana and cocaine residue from Sports Page and found 4.3 grams of cocaine on Daphne Turner, a manager at Rudino’s.
ALE agents began the investigation at Rudino’s on July 10. On that date, Turner directed an undercover agent to a Rudino’s patron, Shawn Bunce. Bunce received 10 Valium pills from Wesley Cesnik and sold them to the agent for $20, a search warrant shows.
Cesnik is not a Rudino’s employee.
The same agent bought $80 worth of cocaine from patron Jennifer Brown, who first consulted with Turner before the sale was completed.
Over the course of three more undercover setups, Brown sold $120 worth of cocaine and pills to the agent. Bunce sold an additional $10 worth of Valium pills and Turner sold $80 worth of cocaine on other occasions.
Another Rudino’s employee, Joseph Currin III, facilitated in the $40 pill transaction between Brown and the agent on Oct. 17, the arrest warrant shows.
Currin also sold the agent $15 worth of Tylenol with codeine on Sept. 12. The purchase equaled three pills.
He was charged with possession of codeine and selling Tylenol with codeine.
Brown was charged with possessing and selling cocaine and hydrocodone.
Turner was charged with possessing, conspiring to sell and selling cocaine as well as conspiring to sell Valium. She was also charged with allowing controlled substance violations to occur on the premises.
Bunce and Cesnik were charged with possessing and conspiring to sell Valium. Bunce was also charged with selling Valium.
Sports Page targeted in August
Later in the summer, the ALE began a similar investigation at Sports Page.
On Aug. 7, agents bought $100 of cocaine from a patron who went by the name Sonny. Later that month, on Aug. 28, Sports Page bar manager Brian Davis told an undercover agent that a patron who went by the name ‘Germ’ “could get what she needed ... and to let ‘Germ’ know he sent her,” the search warrant reads.
Germ sold the agent $100 worth of cocaine.
On Aug. 22, agents had their first interaction with Davis when he sold them cocaine and 10 promethazine hydrochloride pills for $100. Promethazine hydrochloride is an ingredient used in “lean,” a drink that mixes cough syrup and other drugs to create a high for the user.
On Oct. 17 agents had another interaction with an unamed female patron who sold $20 of marijuana. Knightdale police and ALE agents made arrests on Oct. 23.
McGee was charged with conspiring to sell cocaine and allowing controlled substance violations to occur on an ABC-licensed premise. Davis was charged with possession of a counterfeit controlled substance, selling that substance and allowing controlled substance violations to occur on premises.
Sports Page employee Jonathan Williford was arrested for an outstanding warrant, and Adrian Obrien Bobo was charged with possession of cocaine. ALE did not specify Bobo’s relation to Sports Page.
A violation report was filed with the state Alcohol and Beverage Comission for each restaurant. The ABC can fine the restuarants or revoke its ABC license because employees of the restaurants were involved with the violations.