Salisbury pair charged after accidentally calling former narcotics officer

Published 3:43 pm Friday, May 17, 2019

A pair of Salisbury men were charged this week with methamphetamine-related offenses after they accidentally called the number of a former narcotics investigator to make a drug deal.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Brandon Adam Ferguson, 28, of the 1400 block of Tall Oaks Circle, with possession with intent to sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance, conspiring to sell and deliver a Schedule II substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Ferguson is currently on probation for burglary. He also has convictions for burglary, breaking and entering and robbery.

Josiah Patrick Hurst, 27, of the 200 block of Chapparal Drive, was charged with conspiring to sell and deliver a Schedule II substance.

On Tuesday, a joint narcotics investigation including the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Crime Reduction Unit, the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit and the Salisbury Police Department’s Narcotics Unit resulted in the arrest of Hurst and Ferguson as well as the seizure of 4.1 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine.

Early Tuesday morning, a former narcotics officer with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, who was promoted and transferred to another unit, discovered he had numerous missed phone calls on his personal cellphone. These missed calls were odd, a news release stated, because he had four missed calls between 1:30 a.m. and 1:38 a.m. and because the phone number was unfamiliar to the officer.

The officer sent the unknown caller a text message asking who the person was. A news release said the unknown caller replied, “Josiah, I sent my bro to hook u up. What happened?”

The officer realized the conversation appeared to be narcotics-related and began conversing with the caller who identified himself as Josiah, a news release said. The conversation led to another individual identifying himself to the former detective as Ferguson. Josiah, later identified as Hurst, and Ferguson then allegedly made arrangements through text messages to sell the officer 3.5 grams of an unknown substance for $200.

The sheriff’s sergeant enlisted the assistance of the Salisbury Police Department’s Narcotics Unit to assist in the investigation, surveillance, and potential arrest of Hurst and Ferguson, a news release stated.

Hurst and Ferguson agreed to meet with the sergeant at the Food Lion, located at 106 South U.S. 29 in China Grove.

The pair was observed walking across South U.S. 29 to the parking area of Food Lion by the surveillance team. A description was provided to Hurst and Ferguson of a vehicle they were to meet.

The vehicle was actually operated by a narcotics detective with the Salisbury Police Department, a news release stated. Once Hurst and Ferguson approached the vehicle, they quickly realized the vehicle was not being operated by anyone they knew. A takedown sign was given and both subjects were apprehended in the Food Lion parking lot without further incident.

Ferguson was found to be in possession of 4.1 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine.

Ferguson and Hurst both received $20,000 secured bonds.