53-year-old Mark Russell Triplett of Royal Acres Circle in Granite Falls was arrested late Friday night (May 23) by Officers with the Morganton Dept. of Public Safety on charges of felony possession with intent to manufacture sell or deliver methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.
Events leading to his arrest began as Sergeant J. R. Whisnant was in the area of North Green Street when he spotted a dark-colored Jeep Cherokee that had been reported by the Highway Patrol as having a suspected impaired driver. After a short distance, a traffic stop was conducted. A passenger in the Jeep was displaying overly nervous behavior in the presence of Officers, who said his entire body was shaking and he was making minimal eye contact.
In the course of a records check, Officers learned that the passenger, Mark Triplett, had been arrested on three occasions in the past two years for possession of meth with the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver. Two counts are currently pending in Caldwell County.
During an attempted pat down, Triplett fled across Highway 181 North and down an embankment. During the pursuit, a Taser was deployed, though Triplett continued to resist arrest for a brief period. While fleeing, Triplett threw a plastic bag containing a crystalized material suspected to be meth. A plastic bag containing a crystalized substance was also found in Triplett’s pocket.
A K-9 Unit located several plastic bags of a substance suspected to be meth inside Triplett’s vehicle. Numerous, empty baggies were found, along with digital scales, a scoop and a glass pipe. The combined weight of the substances was 44.8 grams with a street value of $4,500. $478 in cash was also seized.
Triplett was given a $28,000 secured bond with a first appearance in District Court scheduled for today (May 27).
The Burke County Narcotics Task Force is assisting with the investigation.