North Carolina

3 Young Men Busted for Drugs, Alcohol Day After High School Graduation: Sheriff

Three young Virginia men’s post-graduation trip was cut short when police found drugs and alcohol in their car during a traffic stop.

A North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper stopped a 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer for going 76 in a 55 mph zone in Bladen County, North Carolina, about 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Michal Joan Berrios, Lorenzo Dominic Cota and Cristhianna Ismael Ortez Flores, all 18 years old, were on their way from Manassas to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

According to the sheriff's office, they graduated from high school Friday night and were taking a week-long trip with other classmates to celebrate.

As the trooper approached the vehicle, he smelled marijuana and called for assistance, according to the sheriff's office. The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement helped the trooper. 

Officers found 3.3 ounces of marijuana, 2.6 grams of cocaine, 18 liters of liquor, 50 liters of beer, drug paraphernalia and $3,600.00 in cash in the vehicle.

The three men in the car were part of a group of 10 graduates who planned the trip for a year and pooled their money to buy all of the drugs and alcohol.

All the young men were charged with numerous drug and alcohol-related charges. Berrios also was charged with speeding, and Cota was charged with maintaining a vehicle to transport narcotics.

"This is a good example of teamwork and commitment," Bladen County Sheriff James A. McVicker said. "I am sure no one expected a simple stop for speeding to turn out like this."

All three men appeared at hearings Monday and were released on bond pending trial, according to the sheriff's office.

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