Police: Man intended to sell cocaine, fake substitute

  • Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013 12:12 p.m.

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man faces drug trafficking charges after police say they found him with both real and fake cocaine.

An officer with the Salisbury Police Department responded to a call Friday about a suspicious vehicle in the 800 block of East Lafayette Street. The van was parked in a back parking lot with a “no trespassing” sign.


According to the police report, the woman sitting in the driver’s seat did not have a driver’s license, and the vehicle’s tag and registration didn’t match up. The passenger was identified as Richard Ira Phifer, 45, of North Shaver Street in Salisbury.

An officer asked Phifer to get out of the vehicle in order to pat him down for weapons. Police say when Phifer turned to face the van, he started to run away.

The officer grabbed his T-shirt to keep him from running, which began to rip in the struggle. Another officer ended up shocking Phifer with a Taser, after which he became cooperative, according to the report.

During a search, officers found $2,585 in cash in Phifer’s pocket. Police said they also found a bag containing 3.9 ounces of cocaine that he had thrown to the ground. Phifer had another bag of a substance that looked like cocaine, but tests revealed it to be counterfeit, the report said.

Phifer was charged with trafficking in cocaine; possession with intent to sell a counterfeit controlled substance; and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. He was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $5,000 bond.

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