Facing trafficking charges after BMPD discovers 600-plus grams of methamphetamine

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News

A search warrant executed by the Black Mountain Police Department early Sept. 11 led to the discovery of weapons, marijuana and more than 600 grams of methamphetamine, police said.

Richard Joseph Chandler, of McCoy Cove Road, was arrested on several charges related to a search of his residence. Black Mountain police chief Shawn Freeman said the drugs have a street value of about $62,000.

Richard Joseph Chandler, of Black Mountain, was arrested Sept. 11 and charged with felony trafficking of methamphetamine after Black Mountain police officers searched his home.

Chandler was arrested after being stopped by police officers who noticed him driving Sept. 9, Freeman said.

“The officers knew his license was revoked,” he said. “As they approached the vehicle and made contact with (Chandler), they noticed suspicious items in the vehicle and found 2.7 grams of meth and discovered paraphernalia and a weapon as the search went on.”

Officers recovered a Glock .40-caliber handgun and nearly $700 in cash as well, Freeman said.

Following the arrest, police received “additional information that (Chandler) was selling narcotics," the chief said. Officers patrolling near Chandler’s home Sept. 10 saw a vehicle with a fictitious license plate leaving the residence, he said.

Officers stopped the vehicle and, after searching it, arrested Douglas Rickey Harris and Lathon Douglas Harris on felony possession of a Schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine), among lesser charges, according to Freeman.

Douglas Rickey Harris was arrested twice by Black Mountain police Sept. 10 and charged both times with possession of methamphetamine.

Both Harrises were in a vehicle stopped later that day. Following a search, Douglas Rickey Harris was charged with another count of felony possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, Freeman said.

Lathon Douglas Harris was arrested by officers from the Black Mountain Police Department Sept. 10 and charged with felony possession of methamphetamine.

Black Mountain police went to the Buncombe County magistrates office and got a search warrant about 11 p.m. Sept. 10. They executed it about three hours later. 

Chandler was detained without incident, according to Freeman. A search of the home turned up scales, glass pipes and other paraphernalia, as well as 32.5 grams of marijuana and 615.7 grams of methamphetamine, Freeman said. 

"We also found additional handguns," he said. 

Chandler was charged with felony trafficking of methamphetamine; felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine); felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver marijuana; felony maintaining a dwelling for the use, storage or sale of a controlled substance; and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. 

The bust "knocks a dent in the drug trade" in the area, Freeman said.

"What we want people to know is, when we get this information, we take it seriously and immediately start investigating," he said. "The message we want out there is that we want a safe town for our children to live in. Taking narcotics off the street is a step in making our town much safer."