More than 30 arrested in undercover operation in North Carolina

Published 9:44 am Sunday, January 30, 2022

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The North Carolina Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement reported Saturday that 34 people were arrested on over cumulative 200 counts related to an investigation into illegal drug, alcohol and firearms sales in a southeastern North Carolina county.

The months-long undercover operation in Columbus County reached a climax Friday when local, state and federal law enforcement officials attempted to serve arrest warrants and a residential search warrant, according to an ALE news release.

Agents seized drugs such as fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as guns and alcoholic beverages. Nearly a dozen of those who were the subject of arrest warrants are still at large, the release said.

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The operation focused on businesses licensed through Alcoholic Beverage Control rules and on residences. Alleged illegal activity at businesses with ABC licenses could subject them to fines or the suspension or revocation of permits.

ALE agents have investigative and arrest powers through North Carolina, focusing primarily on the enforcement of alcohol, tobacco and gambling laws.