Iredell County police have arrested three people on drug related charges and say one suspect tried to escape charges by swallowing several bags of heroin.
The three suspects are accused of being a part of a drug ring, trafficking heroin from Mexico to Iredell County, according to police. The three arrested were: Michelle Harmon Price, 37, of Statesville; Kerri Leigh Riley, 28, of Troutman; and Lance Sigmon, 35, of Troutman.
Police received numerous tips from several sources that the three were involved in a Mexican cartel. After investigating and lengthy surveillance of the three, deputies stopped two of the suspects- Riley and Sigmon- on their trip back from Charlotte, where they had picked up heroin.
During a search of a home on Goodman Road- where Riley and Sigmon live- police found two grams of heroin, drug paraphernalia, and $3,218 in cash.
While police were talking to Riley, officers learned she had swallowed 10 balloons of heroin, weighing a total of 10 grams. Riley was taken to Iredell Memorial Hospital and her stomach was emptied. The balloons of heroin were recovered.
Sigmon and Riley are each being charged with two counts of trafficking opium or heroin, two counts of maintaining a vehicle/dwelling for a controlled substance, and felony possession of drug paraphernalia. Both are behind bars under a $25,000 bond and have a court appearance scheduled for Wednesday.
The other suspect- Price- was arrested in connection with the investigation. She is charged with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. She is being held behind bars under a $5,000 bond and made her first court appearance on Tuesday.
According to police, the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.