Murder suspect arrested on drug trafficking charges

UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Detectives in Union County arrested a murder suspect on drug trafficking charges, according to the Union County Sheriff's Office.

28 year old Mark Stephen Thomas, Jr. was arrested Wednesday after an investigation that lasted several months. During the investigation, undercover agents say they bought large amounts of ecstasy and opiates directly from him on three different occasions, deputies say.

Thomas was released on a $175,000 bond in 2010 after an overturned conviction in a murder case dating back to 2006. He has been under house arrest, pending a re-trial since.

The new drug charges are alleged to have taken place near downtown Indian Trail, and deputies say that is in violation of his release order.

In 2010 Thomas was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting Chris Brynarsky in 2006. He won an appeal based on his right to strike a juror after it became known the juror tried to speak to an employee of the District Attorney's Office during the original trial.

Byrnarsky was shot at his custom detail shop in Stallings, where he and Thomas had a dispute over repair work, according to investigators. Thomas is claiming self defense in the case.

The new charges on Thomas are four counts of trafficking opium or heroin, four counts of trafficking ecstasy, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, deliver a schedule I controlled substance, sell and deliver schedule I controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He has a court date scheduled for October 9, and a $600,000 secured bond on the new charges.

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