Charlotte-Mecklenburg police went looking for drug suspects Wednesday and along the way found a man wanted on a murder charge.
Police said Justin Assad Cooke, 29, was among three people arrested during a drug operation in the 7900 block of Nations Ford Road, near Interstate 77. Investigators said Cooke also was wanted by Pennsylvania authorities.
The others arrested in the case were identified as Hakeem Grant, 23, and Naqueesha Sharay Carr, 24.
Police said officers from CMPD’s Steele Creek Division and the Vice and Gang Unit have been investigating increased street-level drug sales, prostitution and violent crime along the Nations Ford Road corridor. During that operation, police said, agents made an undercover drug purchase from two people – later identified as Grant and Carr – inside a hotel room in the 7900 block of Nations Ford Road.
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Grant and Carr were taken into custody, but police said a third person had locked himself in a hotel room and refused to open the door. Police got a search warrant and went into the room, taking the man into custody.
Police said the man gave them a fictitious name, but they later determined it was Cooke, who was wanted by police in Harrisburg, Pa., on first-degree murder charges. He also was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana; sale of marijuana; delivery of marijuana; possession of cocaine; possession of drug paraphernalia; resisting, obstructing and delaying officers; and maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of drug activity.
According to reports from the Harrisburg area, Justin Cooke and his brother, Miles Trumaine Cooke, 30, were charged earlier this month with the May 30 shooting death of 35-year-old Ronald McGruder. Miles Cooke was arrested Oct. 3.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Grant was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, selling marijuana, and delivering marijuana. Carr was charged with two outstanding orders for arrest, police said.
Anyone with information about the case or the suspects is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.