JACKSON COUNTY, N.C. – In a recent operation, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office apprehended three individuals following a routine traffic stop that escalated when deputies discovered illicit substances in their vehicle. The incident unfolded when law enforcement observed a traffic violation involving a white Mercedes, prompting a stop to investigate further.
Deputies, noting suspicious behavior from both the driver and passengers, decided to escalate the situation by calling in the Sylva Police Department’s canine unit. The trained canine positively identified the presence of illegal substances in the vehicle, leading to a subsequent search that uncovered 14 grams of suspected fentanyl.
The three occupants of the vehicle, identified as Sabrina Laughter, Joseph Weigel, and Brian Thomas, now face an array of charges related to drug trafficking and conspiracy.
Sabrina Laughter is charged with a felony for conspiring to traffic opium/heroin, felony conspiracy to sell/deliver Schedule II controlled substances (CS), felony possession of Schedule II CS, felony possession of CS on jail premises, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, and misdemeanor possession of Schedule II CS.
Joseph Weigel faces charges of felony trafficking in opium or heroin, felony conspiracy to traffic opium/heroin, and felony maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/place for CS.
Brian Thomas is charged with two counts of felony trafficking in opium or heroin, felony conspiracy to sell/deliver Schedule II CS, felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver Schedule II CS, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
The arrests highlight the ongoing efforts of law enforcement to combat drug-related activities in the region. The accused individuals are now awaiting legal proceedings as the investigation continues.