Craven County Sheriff puts 30 people behind bars after month-long operation

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — While many people have been at home for the past two months, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t skipped a beat when it comes to getting drugs out of their community.

A month-long sting called “Operation Spring Hope” ended with 30 people behind bars for a wide range of drug charges.

“We’re saving lives every week,” said Chip Hughes, sheriff for Craven County. “Every dosage unit we take off the street equates to a life that has been saved.

Through the bust, deputies seized 600 dose units, with a street value of around $20,000.

The pandemic isn’t slowing Sheriff Hughes and his team down.

His office is offering extra disinfectant and encouraging deputies to practice social distancing whenever possible.

“Many times you have to go hands-on if you have to affect an arrest, and social distancing is not feasible,” said Hughes.

The pandemic is pushing a lot of the Sheriff’s Office’s services to the virtual world.

“If it’s stuff we can do through electronic mail, then we do that, but some things still require people to come out to the Sheriff’s Office,” said Hughes. “I still meet with people daily to talk about their concerns.”

Deputies are also delivering pistol and conceal carry permits right to the applicant’s vehicle.

“We’ve found a way to provide better customer service, and in many ways, it’s more efficient,” said Hughes.

Sheriff Hughes says they haven’t seen a spike in crime since the pandemic started.

What they are seeing is in an increase in overdoses.

They’re trying to provide education and resources to folks in danger, or if they know someone who is.

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