Candles on April 25, outside 421 Perry Street in Elizabeth City where Andrew Brown, Jr. was shot and killed. Jordan Wilkie / Carolina Public Press.

The search warrant issued for the Elizabeth City residence where Andrew Brown Jr. was shot and killed by law enforcement on Wednesday morning shows officers were looking for drugs, specifically crack cocaine, in the house and two vehicles, based on information from confidential informants.

The incident began when law enforcement went to the home at 421 Perry St. to serve the search warrant as well as arrest warrants for Brown, Pasquotank Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said last week.

D. Ryan Meads, an investigator for the Albemarle Drug Task Force with the Pasquotank Sheriff’s Department, applied for the search warrant on Tuesday afternoon.

In the application for the warrant, Meads stated that he received information from the Dare County Narcotics Task Force regarding the alleged sale of illegal drugs by Brown.

Meads wrote that a Dare County agent, R.D. Johnson, received information from a confidential informant who claimed to have purchased drugs from Brown on several occasions for more than a year. According to the application, Dare County agents recorded the confidential informant allegedly purchasing cocaine from Brown on March 17 and methamphetamine on March 29.

The application also stated that Meads met with a confidential source who claimed to have purchased crack cocaine from Brown.

Meads sought to search the house as well as two vehicles, including one allegedly registered to Brown and one matching witnesses’ accounts of the vehicle in the shooting. The plate number of the vehicle observed in the shooting matches one of the vehicles described in the warrant.

The search warrant was signed by Superior Court Judge Jerry R. Tillett on the afternoon on Tuesday, April 20. North Carolina law requires the execution of a search warrant within 48 hours of its issuance.

The law also requires return of the executed warrant “without unnecessary delay” to the county clerk’s office.

The Pasquotank County Clerk’s Office closed early Friday due to security concerns, according to Clerk of Court Jennifer Thompson. On Saturday, Wooten told Carolina Public Press, “As far as I know now, it’s available in the clerk’s office.”

The warrant was returned to the clerk just before 7 a.m. Monday by a different officer, M. Jason Duncan, as unexecuted.

Wooten did not respond to requests for comment about why the search warrant was not executed.

The incidents described in the search warrant match the information contained in the arrest warrants taken out by the Dare County Sheriff’s Office on April 20, the day before Brown was shot and killed. Dismissals of both warrants were issued the day after the shooting, April 22, noting the defendant was deceased.

The arrest warrants showed four total charges stemming from March 17 and March 29.

The first alleged event led to a warrant for two counts: one count of possession with intent to sell or deliver a schedule II narcotic, 3 grams of cocaine; and one count of keeping and maintaining a vehicle for keeping and selling a controlled substance. The warrant listed the vehicle as a 2004 BMW 745LI.

The second arrest warrant showed two similar charges from an alleged incident on March 29: one count of possession with intent to sell or deliver a schedule I narcotic, 3 grams of methamphetamine; and one count of keeping and maintaining a vehicle for keeping and selling a controlled substance. The vehicle listed was a white Chrysler 300.

Public records show a history of convictions for drug dealing by Brown, and he was arrested in November 2020 on drug charges.

In 2004, Brown was convicted of speeding to elude arrest. Between 2006 and 2008 he was convicted of multiple misdemeanors for communicating threats and one for violating an order of protection. He had earlier convictions for assault, domestic trespass and wanton injury to person or property, in addition to multiple property and drug crimes.  

Jamaul Riddick, Brown’s bail bondsman and lifelong friend, said he never lost money from bailing Brown out of jail and never had to look for him either.

“I’ve never known him to resist any officer or anybody. I mean he’s not that type of person,” Riddick said. 

“He’s never been a violent person in his life. He doesn’t carry a gun,” he said. “He’s never had a gun, never carried a gun, and he’s just not violent.”

Calvin Adkins contributed to this report.

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Laura Lee is the former news editor at Carolina Public Press.

Jordan Wilkie is a former Report for America corps member and former reporter at Carolina Public Press. To reach the newsroom, email us at