One of the men charged in the investigation of a drug-trafficking organization called the "Detroit Boys" was mistakenly released from the Forsyth County jail last week as a result of a clerical error, officers say.
The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in finding Terrance Douglas Poindexter, 28.
Poindexter was one of five local men arrested on drug-related charges in October in an investigation of the drug-trafficking organization, which officers say moved heroin between Detroit and Winston-Salem. The men were jailed with bonds ranging from $400,000 to $750,000, the sheriff's office said at the time.
As of Dec. 20, authorities had charged 15 people in Winston-Salem and the Detroit area with a total of 136 felonies and searched 12 homes in the joint investigation that involved local, state and federal authorities.
Poindexter was charged with conspiracy to traffic heroin and two counts of trafficking heroin and was scheduled to appear in court in May, police said at the time.
During his confinement, Poindexter also was served with an unrelated warrant for misdemeanor larceny.
Poindexter was taken to court Thursday for the larceny charge and received a disposition of supervised probation on that charge. The associated release order prepared by the clerk's office mistakenly directed the sheriff's office to release Poindexter on all charges, the sheriff's office said.
The error was discovered Friday, but Poindexter had already been released.
Chief Deputy Brad Stanley said the sheriff's office will do an administrative review of the incident.
"It appears from all initial review that our staff acted appropriately based on the paperwork that was submitted to them," Stanley said.
The sheriff's office must follow official documents, Stanley said, though officers can certainly inquire if they see something incorrect. Unfortunately, the paperwork error was discovered too late.
"This is not something that happens often," Stanley said. "When you have human beings involved in paperwork, then you're going to have mistakes."
But Stanley said he is not placing blame.
"There is no blame," he said. "The first obstacle or issue to address is getting Mr. Poindexter back into custody."
Poindexter is described as a 28-year-old black male who is 6 feet, 2 inches tall, weighs 256 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. His address of record was 520 Hemmingway St. in Winston-Salem, but authorities also realize he has ties to Detroit.
Stanley said Poindexter has been entered into a national database as "wanted," and any law enforcement entity in the United States has the authority to stop and detain him.
Local officers have been following up on several leads, Stanley said.
"At this point, they have not produced Mr. Poindexter, so at this point we're going to ask for the public's help," Stanley said.
Anyone with information about Poindexter's whereabouts should call local law enforcement or call Crimestoppers at 336-727-2800.
Copyright 2014 - Winston-Salem Journal, N.C.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service