NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — The Craven County Sheriff’s Office recently received a special state award.

On August 9, the Gang & Gun Unit received the 2022 Special Achievement Award presented by the North Carolina Gang Investigators Association. 

In August of 2020, Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes kept his campaign promise by implementing Craven County’s first Gang/Gun Unit. The unit consists of two investigators, Amber Taylor, and Nathan Edwards. Both investigators formally worked for the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office & were recruited to work in Craven County due to their experience and self-motivated style of working. 

In 2021, Inv. Taylor & Inv. Edwards seized 1,656 grams of heroin/fentanyl, 1,372 grams of cocaine/crack, 1,759 grams of methamphetamine, pills 554 dosage units, 106 firearms, 12 vehicles, $106,977.00 in U.S. currency, executed 56 search warrants, and arrested 214 individuals.

Over the course of this unit forming, Craven County has worked closely with Craven County Probation and Parole (Officer Jessica Hargett) and New Bern Police Department – Team 5 (Detective Josh Gregolli and Detective Ian Oliver)

Sheriff Hughes stated “the Gang & Gun Unit was created because we have gangs operating in our schools & in our communities” Hughes continued “I’m very proud of Inv. Amber Taylor & Inv. Nathan Edwards for receiving this award & their dedication to keeping Craven County a safer place to live, work, & raise a family. This is an example of why we put qualified individuals in positions at the Sheriff’s Office”

The mission of the Craven Gang/Gun Unit is to identify, track and deter criminal organizations engaged in gang activity and prosecute them on a state or federal level. The Craven County Gang-Gun unit is also involved with the community, fielding complaints, and educating youth to deter recruitment or crimes at an adolescent level.