McCOLL — A Marlboro County couple and a North Carolina man were arrested this week following a three-month drug investigation on both sides of the state line.
Marlboro deputies arrested 33-year-old Robert Keith Locklear, aka “Big Lock” and his wife, 45-year-old Kimberly A. Locklear, along with 54-year-old Michael Lee Baum of Hasty Road in Laurinburg, North Carolina, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.
The investigation began three months ago after authorities said they began receiving calls about the Locklears selling drugs out of their home.
The sheriff’s office said investigators made undercover purchases of cocaine from the residence, conducted surveillance and interviewed several witnesses and defendants in other cases.
Deputies from Marlboro and Scotland counties and N.C. State Bureau of Investigation agents executed a search warrant on Thursday at the Locklears’ home and contacted Baum at his Scotland County home.
“The search warrant produced great evidence of the ongoing conspiracy in both states and gave a wealth of intelligence on dealers, users and clients that we hope to use in an ongoing federal investigation that potentially involves these defendants in the next few months along with other targets in the Marlboro, Scotland and Robeson county areas,” Marlboro County Sheriff Fred Knight said in the release.
Baum has an extensive criminal record in Florida and North Carolina and Robert Locklear has a prior drug conviction, investigators said.
Robert Locklear was charged with four counts of distribution of cocaine, conspiracy and possession of marijuana.
Kimberly Locklear was charged with conspiracy.
Baum was charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine and conspiracy.
“We were able to team up with our partners from North Carolina and hopefully continue to fight these drugs at our border,” Knight said. “If anyone has any information related to drugs or this case, please continue to call.”
Bond hearings for all three suspects were scheduled for Friday in Bennettsville.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.