CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Police in Concord recently wrapped up one of the biggest investigations in the agency’s history. It lasted for a year and resulted in nearly 5 dozen arrests, 21 guns recovered, and $1 million is cash seized.
WBTV first reported on Operation Concord Clean Up a few weeks ago, but today got a closer look at why the department felt the operation was so important.
“I tell you David it’s heartbreaking to see the damage that drugs are doing to families, to communities, to society, so it’s not a victimless crime,” said Captain Todd McGhee. “Drug crimes fuel violent crimes, drug crimes fuel property crimes.”
The Cabarrus County District Attorney’s Office, United States Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and Kannapolis Police Department all provided assistance and support with the investigations.
As a result of the investigation, 59 people were charged on 140 criminal charges. Also during the investigation $1,000,942.00 in US currency was seized along with 21 firearms. Investigators recovered 450 pounds of marijuana, 17.25 ounces of cocaine, 6.07 ounces of methamphetamines, 5.82 ounces of heroin/fentanyl, 2.7 ounces of MDMA, and 27 dosage units of various controlled substances.
Concord Police launched Concord Clean Up last year. When it was completed, they didn’t just have a few mug shots, but page after page…all ages, all races, all committing drug crimes according to police, and many not for the first time.
“They know the death and destruction that they’re responsible for, yet they continue to do it and profit from those who are addicted,” McGhee added.
Along with drugs and weapons, bags full of cash were seized. $900,000 cash was taken in just two cases where large amounts of marijuana were found.
“In one instance we recovered 300 lbs of marijuana, in another instance we recovered almost 70 lbs of marijuana, but in those instances, we also seized about $900,000 in cash that was associated with that and 10 firearms associated with that,” McGhee added.
And McGhee says the need for the next high results in property crime like car break-ins, the trend in catalytic converters being stolen, and in violent crime.
“They’re not climbing in your car they’re going under your car and in the matter of a minute they are cutting off the catalytic converters,” McGhee said.
And while this investigation is over, Captain McGhee says more have started. If police can tamp down on drug activity, they say a reduction in other crimes should follow.
“You have to look beyond just the drug crimes. You have to look beyond just somebody selling drugs, you have to look at the community impact of the drug crime.”
Captain McGhee noted that while conducting such an investigation during a global pandemic present unique challenges, in some ways it gave officers better information about drug activity that was going on in neighborhoods.
“People were at home; children were at home and they were kind of noticing things that were out of place,” McGhee said.