Investigators say 'massive drug conspiracy' stretched from NC to - | WBTV Charlotte

Investigators say 'massive drug conspiracy' stretched from NC to CA

(Steve Ohnesorge) (Steve Ohnesorge)
MARION, NC (WBTV) -

A major drug raid, that targeted four homes in three counties Tuesday, is being hailed as a major dent in the illegal drug trade. The raids came after a nine-month investigation, officials say.

Officials in Burke, Catawba and McDowell counties believe the arrests and seizures will have a significant impact in the area. "These were main players," said Richelle Bailey with the McDowell County Sheriff's Office.

Major Tim Hayes with Newton Police described those arrested as top level people in the drug trade. "These were not street dealers," Hayes said.

Authorities believe the group would bring in hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine and other drugs. Investigators suspect that the group would then use operations in the three counties to distribute the drugs into neighboring counties and states as far away as California.

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In the raids on Tuesday, 24 pounds of methamphetamine were seized, including other drugs and $571,000 in cash.

"This will have a significant impact," said Burke County Sheriff Steve Whisenant.

Investigators targeted ten people, but were only able to find and arrest seven people. Investigators are still looking for three people. "We consider them armed and dangerous," Bailey said.

Officials say the investigation is far from over and do expect, besides the three people already being sought, to make many more arrests.

People who live in the neighborhoods where the raids took place say they did not notice the drug activity. "Everybody kept to themselves," said Sharon Davis in Nebo.

Davis and her husband live just a few doors down from one of the homes that was raided. Though they did not see anything suspicious in recent months, they have noticed a change since the raid happened. "Yes, it is a whole lot quieter," said Nelson Davis.

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