Police officer fired after SBI arrest, another suspect sought

Police officer fired after SBI arrest, another suspect sought

JONES COUNTY - A Warsaw police officer, arrested by the SBI for allegedly conspiring to sell oxycodone in Jones County, has been fired.

SBI officials arrested 33-year-old Lacy Ray Ward at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday while she was still on duty as a police officer, said Jones County Sheriff Danny Heath. She was then fired from the Warsaw Police Department.

On March 28, a camera recorded Ward sitting in the passenger seat of a truck with 29-year-old James Parker III as he sold 19 oxycodone pills to an undercover investigator in Jones County, Sheriff Heath said. The transaction happened at Hargetts Crossroads, near Highways 41 and 258, said investigators.

Once the Jones County Sheriff's Office learned that Ward was a Warsaw police officer, deputies contacted the SBI to assist, said Sheriff Heath.

Ward has been charged with two counts of conspiring to sell/deliver schedule II controlled substances and obstructing justice. She is being held under a $250,000 secured bond.

Ward had once worked as a narcotics officer, investigators said.

Major Matt Wineman said it's kind of a shock and tarnishes the law enforcement community as a whole.

"You have someone that's supposed to be upholding the law, and it turns out they are actually the ones breaking it," he said.

Parker, of Kinston, is still on the run, said Sheriff Heath. Investigators do not believe Parker is in Kinston and are actively searching for him in surrounding counties.

"We're hoping we will have him in custody in the next few days if not sooner," Wineman said.

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