Father, son charged after 2-plus pounds of fentanyl found during Lee County traffic stop

SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — A father and son were arrested and charged with trafficking opioids after a traffic stop Thursday.

Lee County sheriff’s deputies made the traffic stop on Greenwood Road which is about 8 miles south of Sanford as part of an active drug investigation, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies found about 2.2 pounds of fentanyl in the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office.

Robert Bernard Fox Sr., 54, and his son, Robert Bernard Fox II, 23, were arrested and both charged with the following:

  • Trafficking Opioid by Transport,
  • Trafficking Opioid by Possession,
  • Possess with Intent to Sell and Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance,
  • Maintaining a Vehicle for the Sale of Narcotics, and
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

The pair were brought before a Lee County Magistrate and were issued $250,000 secured bonds.

As a result of this traffic stop, narcotics agents, assisted by the Sanford Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, executed a search warrant in the 800 block of McKenzie Park Drive.

During the search warrant, agents found Shondell Rasheed Bethea, 25, inside the residence.

Bethea was wanted for failing to appear in court on charges of possessing with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, larceny of a motor vehicle, and two counts of breaking and entering.

Bethea was found to be in possession of two firearms, one of which was entered stolen by the Sanford Police Department, the sheriff’s office said.

Bethea was arrested and charged with two counts of possession of a firearm by felon and one count of possession of a stolen firearm. He was brought before a Lee County magistrate and was held with no bond.

The sheriff’s office said that amount of fentanyl seized could potentially kill 500,000 people.

This bust comes a little more than a week since 20-plus pounds of methamphetamine and more than two pounds of fentanyl were seized during a traffic stop in Lee County.

Deputies said Arturo Montanez Hernandez was found Nov. 8 with a large amount of methamphetamine during a traffic stop. After the stop, narcotics agents and special response team deputies executed two search warrants at a residence in the 5700 block of McDaniel Drive.

There, deputies found the fentanyl, as well as, methamphetamine, cocaine, and four firearms.

“It’s awesome to be able to get it off the street to know that that’s going to save lives,” said Wendy Thomas, the executive director of Matthew’s Voice.

Thomas, who lives in Sanford, tragically lost her son Matthew three years ago. She says he unknowingly took the powerful opioid, “He got a Percocet from an acquaintance, and it was a fake pill, it was fentanyl. After I found out what happened, I did some research, I was angry that this is happening.”

So, she started Matthew’s Voice, a non-profit that provides resources and education for teenagers to help them understand the dangers of the deadly drug.

One of the powerful tools she uses is showcasing the minuscule amount of fentanyl considered a lethal dose. The DEA considers two milligrams potentially fatal. The amount police found, 2.2 pounds, is enough to kill nearly 500,000 people.

“That is enough to kill like every person in Lee County seven times,” Thomas explained.

In the memory of her son, Thomas hopes she can spare other families the trauma of losing a loved one to fentanyl, “After I’m done I feel good, I feel like I had to have made a difference to somebody. Down the road, somewhere a life is going to be saved.”

Read the full article and watch the video on the CBS17 website.