Wake deputies bust drug lab; they say 2 men put hallucinogenic chemical in vape pens

In one of its biggest single-day drug busts, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office seized drugs worth almost $4 million and charged two men with operating a drug lab from inside a Wake Forest home.

Daniel Ray Hawkins, 33, and Benjamin Blake Lumpkin, 35, at 505 Flaherty Ave. were arrested on charges of manufacture of a schedule I drug, maintaining a dwelling, possession of precursors and possession of firearm by a convicted felon, according to a news release.

The lab was used to produce Dimethyltrypamine or DMT, a hallucinogenic drug. Interviews suggested Hawkins and Lumpkin were putting DMT in vape pens, the release says. A shotgun was also found at the scene.

There have been three DMT labs located in North Carolina, two of which were identified by Wake County’s Drug and Vice Unit.

The State Bureau of Investigations will have the lab torn down by a private South Carolina firm, according to the release.

Hawkins has previously been charged with possession with intent to distribute psylocybin, a hallucinogenic chemical obtained from mushrooms, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. He also has charges of driving while impaired and trafficking in LSD.

Lumpkin has previous charges of larceny of a firearm, simple assault and felony possession of cocaine.

Hawkins and Lumpkin are being held in Wake County Justice Center on $835,000 bail.

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Ashad Hajela reports on public safety for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He studied journalism at New York University.