Andrew Brown Jr. search warrant: Drug deals captured on camera weeks before fatal police shooting

Andrew Brown Jr. search warrant: Drug deals captured on camera weeks before fatal police shooting

04/26/2021

Protesters shutdown bridge in Elizabeth City, NC

Vehicular traffic was rerouted in Elizabeth City, N.C. as the family of Andrew Brown Jr. were to be shown bodycam footage of his fatal shooting by a Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputy.

Andrew Brown Jr. – a Black man fatally shot as sheriff’s deputies executed a warrant in Elizabeth City, N.C., on April 21 – was described as a drug dealer in the Pasquotank County area and had a criminal rap sheet over 180 pages long and dating back to May 1988, according to a copy of the search warrant and other records obtained by Fox News.

Brown’s family and their attorneys entered the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office Monday afternoon to be privately shown the body camera footage of the shooting – following a two-hour delay that Pasquotank County Attorney R. Michael Cox said happened to blur faces and complete redactions to the video.

Six days after the shooting, authorities have provided few details about the circumstances of Brown’s death, but Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II petitioned the court Monday for the public release of the body-camera footage even as the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation continues its independent probe into Brown’s death.

An initial search warrant signed off by North Carolina Superior Court Senior Resident Judge Jerry R. Tillett on April 20 states that Agent R.D. Johnson of the Dare County Narcotics Task Force was in communication with a confidential source who said they had been purchasing narcotics from Brown for over one year. The informant claimed that they had purchased different quantities of cocaine, “crack” cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine from Brown on numerous occasions.

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Brown would sometimes travel to Dare County to deliver the narcotics, according to the informant. Other times the informant traveled into Elizabeth City to purchase narcotics from Brown at numerous hotel/motels and Brown’s residence on Perry Street on at least three occasions.

On March 17, the Dare County Narcotics Task Force utilized the informant to conduct a “controlled purchase” of a quantity of cocaine from Brown that was recorded with audio/video devices. On March 29, the informant carried out another controlled purchase of meth from Brown captured on camera.

The warrant was requested by Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office Investigator D. Ryan Meads.

Meads and other agents assigned to the Albemarle Drug Task Force are also “familiar with Brown and know him to be a source of supply of ‘crack’ cocaine, cocaine, heroin/fentanyl and methamphetamine to the Elizabeth City/ Pasquotank County area,” the warrant states.

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Investigators believe the establishment at 421 Perry St. in Elizabeth City “is being used to store, package and distribute narcotics, namely ‘crack’ cocaine,” the warrant states. Two vehicles regularly seen at the residence were believed to be in Brown’s possession and were being used by him to store, traffic and distribute illegal narcotics. There is reason to believe that the home was being used by Brown as a “secure location” to store drugs, currency and recordation of sales or monies owed, the warrant says.

The search warrant included photos of two vehicles seen parked outside: a green 2004 BMW 745 LI four-door sedan with a North Carolina license plate registered to Andrew Brown Jr., as well as a second BMW four-door sedan that was gray in color and has a fictitious license plate number.

The informant described Brown as a “drug dealer” in the Elizabeth City/Pasquotank County area and admitted to purchasing “crack” cocaine from Brown on multiple occasions. The individual also witnessed crack cocaine inside the residence within 14 days of the application of the search warrant.

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Meads has over 1,000 hours of law enforcement training, to include drug enforcement, narcotics investigations and identification. As an employed law enforcement officer he has dealt with informants, conducted surveillance, arrested suspects, seized evidence and executed search warrants. He has successfully developed narcotics investigations and made felony and misdemeanor arrests for violations of the North Carolina Controlled Substance Act, according to the warrant.

The document, which indicated the search wasn’t completed, didn’t list anything found. Fox News also obtained a copy of Brown’s separate criminal rap sheet that is more than 180 pages long and dates back to May 1988. Arrest warrants against Brown that were released last week charged him with possession with intent to sell and deliver three grams of each of the drugs.

Fox News’ James Levinson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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