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A man charged last week on weapons counts in the Church Street area was charged Tuesday afternoon on fentanyl trafficking counts.

Elijah Ray Couch was out of jail on a $2,500 bond when a car he was in was stopped for a tail light violation in the area of Southgate Drive by Agent B. Council and Officer J. DeSare, Roanoke Rapids police Chief Bobby Martin said in a statement.

Council and DeSare had been conducting further investigations in the area when Council noticed the lighting violation.

Council reportedly smelled the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

Sergeant M. Hunsucker deployed his dog, which gave a positive alert for the presence of narcotics.

At the time of the stop around noon, officers recovered two concealed handguns, marijuana and a trafficking amount of fentanyl.

Couch was charged with level 1 trafficking fentanyl by possession; level  1 trafficking fentanyl by transport, possession with intent to sell and deliver fentanyl; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

At the Halifax County Detention Center, where Couch had been committed on an $80,000 secured bond, detention officers, Martin said in the statement, “went above and beyond the call of duty and recovered a trafficking amount of methamphetamine, an additional bag of fentanyl, and crack cocaine from inside Elijah Ray Couch's person upon intake to the jail.”

Martin confirmed this afternoon Couch had reportedly hidden the drugs jailers found within a bodily orifice, a practice among reputed drug dealers known as suitcasing. “You have to give the detention officers kudos. It was something that was hidden from the officers and something that could have possibly gotten inside the jail.”

In the statement Martin said Couch is now facing his fourth drug trafficking case all of which he has accumulated within the last  four months.

In the case last week, Captain Jamie Hardy was in the Church Street area when he encountered Couch and another man at an abandoned residence.

Hardy located .357 ammo, .45-caliber ammo, 9mm ammo, digital scales and Narcan.

Hardy arrested Couch for carrying a concealed weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Martin said in the statement Quentana Nichole Daniels was issued a North Carolina State Citation for carrying a concealed handgun and was given a written warning ticket for a tail light violation.

Tajma Deyong Ussery was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, carrying a concealed handgun, simple possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia.  

Ussery has been charged with possession of a firearm by felon on two previous occasions and is now facing his third such charge. 

The narcotics division will be contacting the United States attorney for federal adoption of the Ussery case as well as Couch’s case.

Ussery received a $75,000 secured bond.

Six grams of fentanyl and 4 grams of marijuana were seized.