Federal agents arrested two Merrimon men on federal drug charges Wednesday.
Frenchie Leapas Reels, 38, and Casey Deandre Murrell, 31, were taken into custody after agents served warrants handed down by a federal grand jury.
A federal indictment accuses Reels of operating the Reel Deal Home Style Café at 1315
East Main Street in Havelock for the purpose of laundering money in a large drug sales and distribution operation.
Reels and Murrell are charged with possession and distribution of 280 grams of (cocaine base) crack cocaine and more than five kilograms of cocaine.
Additionally, Reels is charged with three counts of felony possession of more than 28 grams of cocaine and one count of conspiracy to manufacture, sell and distribute controlled substances and concealing the unlawful activity at the Reel Deal Home Style Café.
Murrell is also charged with three counts of distributing more than 28 grams of cocaine.
As part of the indictment, Reels is alleged to “knowingly conduct and attempted to conduct a financial transaction affecting interstate and foreign commerce,, specifically, purchasing equipment to operate the Reel Deal Home Style Café which involved the proceeds of a specified unlawful activity, that is conspiracy to manufacture, sell and distribute controlled substances knowing that the transaction was designed in whole and in part to conceal and disguise in nature, location, source, ownership and control of proceeds of said specified unlawful activity.”
The agents seized $18,687 in cash and various firearms ammunition in September.
Fryers, refrigerators, ranges and other kitchen equipment in addition to dining room tables and chairs were seized from the business. Included were a cash register and a 1971 Chevrolet Impala.
Both Reels and Murrell have previous felony drug convictions.
They had their initial appearance today in the Federal Courthouse in Craven County.
Arraignment is set for the January, 2013 term in New Bern. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rudy Renfer, of Raleigh, is prosecuting.