Tabor City Police arrested a man late Wednesday on multiple charges after a day-long drama and a manhunt that started outside a daycare center.
Capt. Greg Sibbett of the TCPD said Louis Ellis hodge, 26, of Calabash is being held under $452,000 secured bond, facing eight counts of trafficking in opiates as well as property damage and possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver narcotics.
Hodge is also a suspect in breaking of small pharmacies in North and South Carolina.
Officers were still processing evidence Wednesday night, hours after his arrest. Sibbett said the State BureU of Investigation was called in to assist in the case, due to the quantity of drugs officers found in Hodges’ vehicle.
“I would estimate he had between 2,000 and 2,500 pills,” Sibbett said. Most of the drugs were Oxycodone, methadone and morphine, Sibbett said.
Chief Donald Dowless and Capt. Greg Sibbett said the hunt for the suspect, led to a lockdown of Tabor area schools and daycare centers and a Code Red Reverse 911 call to area businesses and residents.
Police said Lt. Richard Kosloski was on routine patrol shortly before 8 a.,m. when he saw a Chevrolet SUV parked at a restaurant off Greensea Road. Moments later, a bank alarm went off at the CresCom bank at Hickman Road, a short distance away.
Meanwhile, workers at the Tabor City Baptist Church Day Care called 911 after a suspicious man was noticed at the center. The center is located at Garrell and Live Oak streets, near Hickman Road.
Sibbett was responding to the call when he spotted the suspect, described as a white male, about six feet tall, 140 to 150 pounds with black hair, wearing blue jeans, a gray shirt and a dark ball cap. The man fled into a wooded area near Anderson and Bell streets, police said. A K9 team was called in but failed to locate the man.
Around 11 a.m., Dowless activated the Reverse 911 system. The suspect was considered armed and dangerous.
Dowless said an AR-15 rifle and a single round from a 9mm handgun or long arm were located in the Chevrolet, and officers assumed Hodge was carrying a 9mm handgun. The AR-15 was traced back to a man in Brunswick County, Dowless said. The vehicle was towed and seized so it could be examined by a specialist with the State Bureau of Investigation.
The Code Red alert led to a number of tips, Sibbett said, and officers were checking those reports when Kosloski spotted the suspect. He ran into a wooded area, Sibbett said, but Kosloski captured Hodge a short distance away.
Hodge is also reportedly wanted in Horry County for a breakin at a CvS store there.
Check back with nrcolumbus.com for more on this developing story.