Family jailed for pushing painkillers

Rachel McAuley Staff Writer

December 19, 2013

LAUREL HILL — A Laurel Hill family of three are being held in the Scotland County jail under a combined bond of more than $1.3 million after being charged with trafficking painkillers, according to the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

Lonnie Ray Patterson, 44, his wife Cynthia Patterson, 40, and the couple’s daughter Chelsea Patterson, 21, of 21680 Bunch Road, were each charged with three counts of felonious trafficking in opium or heroin and misdemeanor resisting, delaying, or obstructing an officer. The three were indicted by a grand jury earlier this month based on evidence collected during a search on their property in March 2012.

Each were placed in jail under a $460,000 secured bond and given a trial date of Jan. 27.

Jessica Troublefield, 34, of 21630 Bluebird Lane, whom Sheriff’s Lt. Earl Haywood said knew the family through “community connections,” was charged with three felonies — possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II, possession with intent to sell and deliver IV, maintaining a drug dwelling and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was placed under a $10,000 secured bond, but posted bail late Thursday. Her court date is scheduled for Friday.

At about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Haywood, a narcotics investigator, said that the Scotland County Sheriff Office’s Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team conducted a search warrant at Troublefield’s residence while criminal investigators and deputies arrested at the Patterson home in reference to grand jury indictments from an investigation held last year.

Authorities seized 10 opium-derived painkillers and 10 pills of alprozalam from Troublefield’s residence.

No drugs were seized from the Pattersons’ residence Thursday morning, but during the investigation last year authorities found “approximately 99 or more illegally possessed scheduled II, III and IV dosage units” on the Pattersons’ property, Haywood said.

Haywood said that the department hadn’t “received any complaints about” Troublefield in about a year, however, based on “illegal pill transactions” he was able to “tie all the information” together.

It is unclear how the Pattersons and Troublefield were affiliated.

Lonnie Patterson has previously faced charges of assault with a deadly weapon, assault on an officer and first degree trespassing in Scotland County, according to the state Department of Correction. Chelsea Patterson has previously been charged with larceny and assault and battery in Robeson County.