Prominent real estate developer arrested by FBI on drug charges

ANSON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A prominent real estate developer in Anson County was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on drug charges, according to a criminal complaint filed in district court Wednesday.

According to the complaint, Walter Clifton Martin Jr and two others were charged with buying and distributing cocaine and methamphetamine.

The FBI's complaint states that the investigation began in 2015 when a confidential source told investigators they were buying cocaine and methamphetamine in Union County and selling it to Martin in Anson County.

At the time, the source reportedly sold Martin at least 7.5 ounces of cocaine over a two-month period, saying Martin bought small quantities once or twice a week. The source told investigators they also sold Martin "Ice" methamphetamine at least three times during that period.

The source's supplier was arrested in June 2015, according to the complaint, and the FBI attempted to investigate Martin "with negative results."

Investigators were able to get a pen register for Martin's phone in June 2016 and it revealed numerous communication with several people, including Michael Faulkenberry and Timothy Bowens.

Several months later the FBI was able to get a second confidential source, according to the complaint, who was able to provide information on Faulkenberry. That source told investigators that Martin was a "kilogram level dealer of cocaine" and that Faulkenberry was his drug runner.

The source was used to buy drugs from a home in Polkton that is owned by Martin. According to investigators, several other transactions were made at the home in 2017. Investigators also noted multiple phone calls between Martin and people associated with him where it is believe drug purchases were made.

Martin was approached by FBI agents Monday and was interviewed about the investigation.

According to the complaint, Martin agreed to make drug buys from two of his suppliers - Carl Tillman and Timothy Bowens - and reportedly bought cocaine from both.

Bowens was picked up by the FBI and reportedly confessed to selling cocaine to Martin over the past year.

Martin faces ten years to life in prison, if convicted on the charges. Prosecutors asked a judge to keep him behind bars until his trial. A hearing to decide whether to release him on bond will be held Monday morning.

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