A man, looking to sell narcotics, sent a Facebook message to a potential buyer, who turned out to be an off-duty sheriff’s deputy.

Darius Jajuan Torrence, 27, of Alexander Farm Road, Harmony and Donavan Eli Lucien Paquette, 23, of Fourth Street, were each charged with felony conspiracy to sell/deliver Schedule II (Subutex). A magistrate set bond at $7,500 for each. Torrence was also charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Paquette was also served with an order for arrest for failure to appear on driving while license is revoked and displaying fictitious tag and received an additional $6,000 bond.

Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell gave the following account:

On Tuesday, the off-duty deputy received a Facebook message indicating he had Subutex for sale. The deputy engaged Torrence concerning the sale and Torrence indicated he wanted to sell 50 Subutex for $5 per strip. The deputy made arrangements to meet Torrence and Deputies T. Lowthorp and H. Pennell were in the area.

Pennell stopped a vehicle meeting the description that Torrence was in and found Torrence and Paquette inside. Further investigation revealed Torrence never had the Subutex and admitted he planned to take the money. He was informed the person he was messaging was a deputy and he said he was unaware of that.

Paquette told deputies that he gave Torrence $140 to contribute to buying the Subutex and they drove to get money so Torrence could get enough money to buy the drugs from a pharmacy.

“From our past experiences in narcotics investigations, we have seen people who engage in drug sales, or alleged drug sales like in this matter, arrange to meet the unsuspecting drug buyers, only to take their money, and drive away or rob them by force after they have met. Our deputy thinking and acting fast last night helped possibly save someone from getting robbed,” Campbell said.

Torrence’s criminal history includes misdemeanor aiding and abetting breaking and entering and driving without a license.

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