Three suspects charged in connection with a law enforcement operation carried out on highways


Rafael Moreno, 32, of Buffalo, New York, Steven Salgado, 44, of Bronx, New York, and Brandon O’Lawrence Morten, 30, of Atlanta, Georgia were all arrested by sheriff’s officers of Iredell County. Moreno and Salgado are each charged with trafficking cocaine and trafficking Schedule I controlled substances. Morten is charged with trafficking Schedule VI controlled substances. WHKY had previously reported on the arrests of the three suspects, more information has been released.

Between Tuesday, May 3 and Thursday, May 5, 2022, deputies from the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office’s Interstate Crime Enforcement (ICE) Team sponsored a three-day criminal interdiction operation focused on highways 40 and 77. During this operation, deputies and police officers from across North Carolina came to Iredell County to learn and observe how they conduct interstate criminal law enforcement operations.

Deputies from the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office Prohibition Team, Granville County Sheriff’s Office Prohibition Team and officers from the High Point Police Department, interdiction from the Archdale Police Department and special agents from the United States Department of Homeland Security focused on people traveling through Iredell County to conduct criminal activity.

During the three-day operation, MPs and officers carried out over 100 traffic stops from these stops, the following items were seized: 775 grams of cocaine, 135 grams of heroin, 10.5 pounds of marijuana and one gram of MDMA (ecstasy), two vehicles and over $40,000 directly related to criminal activity. A wanted person was also apprehended.

Items Seized During Iredell County Operation May 3-5, 2022
Courtesy of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office

Moreno and Salgado were each placed in the Iredell County Detention Center on a guaranteed bond of $2,000,000, bail for Morten was set at $40,000 guaranteed. Moreno and Salgado remained in jail earlier in the day (May 13), Morten is not listed as an Iredell County inmate. All three suspects are scheduled to appear in district court on May 25.


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