$1.5M Bond for Alleged Dealer

Banks Batten (right) and some of the evidence seized during the raid. (CCSO photo)
Banks Batten (right) and some of the evidence seized during the raid. (CCSO photo)

A pre-dawn raid turned up crack cocaine and illegally shortened AR-15 rifle Tuesday in Green Acres.

Banks Raphel Batten, 35, of 60 Pine Circle Drive, was held under $1.5 million bond. He is charged with trafficking in cocaine, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver cocaine and marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for drug activities, and possession of a weapon of mass destruction, according to jail records.

The sheriff’s office SWAT team, Vice-Narcotics, and command staff hit Banks’ home in the early morning, according to a press release. Batten had been the subject of an ongoing investigation. Multiple undercover buys took place at the residence over an extended period of time, the press release said.

“This residence and occupants have been the subject of numerous complaints, armed robberies, search warrant operations, controlled purchases, and vehicle pursuits,” Sheriff Jody Greene said in the press release.

In addition to 184 grams (6.5 ounces) of cocaine, investigators found an AR-15 rifle with a 100-round drum magazine. The rifle had a barrel shorter than the 16 inches required by federal firearms laws.

This investigation is part of the ongoing Take Back Columbus campaign initiated by Greene. One of the target areas of the campaign has been the Green Acres community.

  • Maze Craze

    Maze Craze Opening Day Gallery

    Maze Craze at Galloway Farm in Hallsboro opened on Saturday, Sept. 24, for their 2022 season. This year, the farm has partnered with Netflix to bring the ‘Outer Banks’ (OBX) to Columbus County.   The [Read More]
  • Kindness Rocks from the Juniorettes
    Front Page

    The Good News for Sept. 23-Oct. 1

    A taste of fall weather is in the air, and cooler temperatures mean more time outside. This weekend presents the perfect opportunity to find your way through a maze or enjoy some Southern cooking at [Read More]
  • Iona (Dawson) Apple

    Iona (Dawson) Apple

    November 30, 1935 ~ September 23, 2022 (age 86) Iona Dawson Apple, 86, of 588 Otis & Donnell Nixon Road, Evergreen, NC, died Friday, September 23, 2022, at Columbus Regional Healthcare System.  Arrangements will be announced by Peoples [Read More]
  • The suspects are dropped off and walk from house to house, checking for unlocked vehicles. (BCSO photo)
    Front Page

    Car Break-in Crew Hits Bladen, Columbus

    Deputies in Columbus and Bladen counties are investigating a rash of car breakins that occurred Thursday night. The same gang of thieves is thought to have broken into vehicles in Bladen and northern Columbus Counties. [Read More]
About Jefferson Weaver 1326 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the managing editor of columbuscountynews.com and news director for WTXY radio. He can be reached at 910.632.4965, or by email at jeffersonweaver@columbuscountynews.com.