NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) - United State Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr. spoke at a news conference Monday where he detailed the results of a multi-year investigation that sent New Bern drug traffickers to prison.
United State Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr. said his office was after the Wilson-Brown organization, which he said was led primarily by Calvin Wilson and Damien Brown.
"As one cooperating witness told us, Brown essentially introduced heroin to New Bern and certainly after he was released from federal prison, it exploded in the streets of New Bern,” said Higdon.
Operation 190 led to more than a dozen arrests and was named after New Bern police officer Alexander Thalmann, whose badge number was 190 and who was shot and killed in March 2014 by associates of those who were sentenced, Higdon said.
ATF agents wiretapped the defendants' phones over a three-month period in 2017, which showed drugs were being funneled from New York to New Bern.
As a result of the investigation, 15 people have pleaded guilty in federal court.
The investigation also produced usable evidence regarding violent crimes and murders in New Bern.
Following the arrests, law enforcement is seeing a reduction in heroin availability and violent crime.
Higdon said authorities at the federal, state and local level will continue to bring to justice those who threaten the safety and health of our communities.
"We will continue to aggressively pursue those who would try to take the places of those who are now on their way to federal prison,” he said.