More arrests made in connection to 'Operation Locktoberfest' - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

More arrests made in connection to 'Operation Locktoberfest'

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Deputies in Columbus County woke up early Tuesday morning to crack down on drug dealers in the area as part of "Operation Locktoberfest." Deputies in Columbus County woke up early Tuesday morning to crack down on drug dealers in the area as part of "Operation Locktoberfest."
So far, nearly three dozen people have been arrested in connection to a two-month investigation in which undercover agents spent about $10,000 buying drugs. So far, nearly three dozen people have been arrested in connection to a two-month investigation in which undercover agents spent about $10,000 buying drugs.

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – More people were arrested Thursday in connection to Columbus County's "Operation Locktoberfest."

Law enforcement officials started the campaign in an effort to crack down on drug dealers in the area.

So far, 41 people have been arrested in connection to the two-month investigation in which undercover agents spent about $10,000 to buy drugs.

Wednesday and Thursday deputies arrested Lisa Lovin, Victoria Strickland, Jason "J Bo" Stephens, and Jennifer Cartrette. 

According to Sheriff Chris Batten, some of the people accused of selling drugs even got into a vehicle with an undercover deputy and went to their house to get the drugs.

Officials have a list of 54 people they are looking for in connection to this drug sweep.

Batten said 80% of drug charges in the initiative involve prescription drugs, but the most recent arrests are in connection to trafficking heroin.

"They can go get 90 pills for $8 or $10, sell them on the street for a $180 or $200," explained Batten. "Heck of a market in profit and a little bit of change in their pocket for them."

Assistant District Attorney Heath Nance said some of the people arrested Tuesday were repeat offenders, despite the heavy sentencing that comes with selling prescription pills and other drugs.

According to Nance, there are still several new offenders in the area that investigators were unaware of until people in the community started to speak up.

The county uses undercover agents and informants to keep track of drug activity because it is the third largest in the state.

Batten explained that people in SC are jumping state lines into Columbus County to abuse prescription medication since they are so close.

Deputies say, they try to conduct large drug sweeps once a year. They still have 13 more people to arrest for "Operation Locktoberfest."

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