Drug, child neglect charges filed by Vance deputies

Jan. 25, 2013 @ 03:03 PM

Vance County sheriff’s deputies rescued a toddler child from what they said was crack-house conditions on Jan. 18, arresting two adult caregivers on drug and child neglect charges, according to search warrant documents obtained The Dispatch.

Benjamin Russell “Ben” Freeman Jr., 54, and Regina Carroll Freeman, 28, both of 2586 U.S. 39 North, Henderson, are charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor for causing a named 1-year-old boy to be in an “injurious environment,” according to arrest warrants signed by Lt. Joseph Ferguson of the sheriff’s office.

In the documents, Ferguson’s written statement indicated the boy had access to open containers of heroin, including carelessly strewn hypodermic needles.

Deputies also charged Benjamin Freeman with having four grams of heroin for sale, keeping and using his home for drug trafficking purposes, and additional counts for having marijuana, stolen goods and drug paraphernalia items.

Benjamin Freeman posted $10,000 bond, and a release order is included among the documents filed in Vance County Court for his case.

Regina Freeman is noted as free on $5,000 bond, according to court records. Both are scheduled to appear for a hearing in Vance County District Court on Feb. 11.

A search warrant filed in the case outlined details of a sheriff’s office narcotics unit investigation against the Freeman household that included a monitored purchase of drugs by an undercover informant.

Court records did not include a warrant for arrest in connection to that sale incident, which occurred days before the Jan. 18 offense date for all the current charges in the case.

Seized while serving the warrant was $1,015 cash, four grams of heroin, a small bag of marijuana, two digital scales, a burnt spoon, various pills in two green pill bottles, energy bill documents and a General Electric surveillance camera.

Investigators stated in the search warrant affidavit that Benjamin Freeman had previous convictions on narcotics trafficking charges.

Vance County case records noted past arrests on charges of multiple larcenies, breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods.

Included in the case against Benjamin Freeman is a charge of having a stolen yellow $2,200 Pierspeed moped that belonged to a named person identified as the theft victim.

State prison records list seven terms of incarceration that Benjamin Freeman served in North Carolina from 1980 through his most recent release date March 22, 2010, after serving 18 to 22 months for felony break-in and larceny convictions.

More than a dozen drug, larceny, forgery and assault cases against Benjamin Freeman date back to Dec. 30, 1976, when he was a teenager and had convictions on selling narcotics, reckless driving and obstruction counts, for which he received probation.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.